Reacting to Emir Sanusi’s remarks,rights activist and former Senator representing Kaduna Central Zone in the 8th National Assembly, Shehu Sani has said that the poverty and begging culture in the North were results of social injustice and systemic failure of political leaders in providing good governance.
He said on Thursday that ” poverty ravaging the country, especially the North and which has turned many people to beggars cannot be addressed by legislation.”
He frowned at the “attempt by some States in the North to outlaw begging.”
“Begging in the Northern part Nigeria is a direct result of poverty, neglect, social, cultural and religious factors combined.”
“Religious leaders sanctify begging by giving it a divine interpretation and reverence, and political leaders generates beggars by impoverishing and pauperizing the people”, pointing out that “to imagine a society without beggars in a nation strangulated by social injustice and systemic poverty is an illusion”.
“The Northern Political leaders should understand that its impossible to compose a paradise without beggars in a hell they created over the years. Beggers are tragic victims and direct result of a nation failed by its successive governing elites.You can’t end begging without ending poverty and illiteracy.”
“It is an aberration for a government to enact a law against begging, Senator Sani explained that “you can arrest beggars but you can’t end begging as long as the social, cultural, political and economic factors that contribute to begging exists”.
“Many states in the country in the last twenty years tried to criminalize begging but failed. They used beggars to win elections and demonize their opponents and now want to Criminalize them”.
“We should ask ourselves and find answers, why should we the Hausas control the political levers in the country for long and still the poorest in the country?
“Crude oil has not enrich the people of Niger Delta and political power has neither brought wealth nor peace in the north. Education, Employment, Empowerment and boldly confronting cultural and social factors that aid and abet begging is the right step to take”.
“Arresting and jailing beggars amounts to hiding our problems and not solving them,” he said.