I can’t hurriedly forget my experience in the North , when I got posted to Katsina for my National Youth Service Corps. I spent 3 weeks in camp. I had opportunity to move out of camp for my Call to Bar Screening at Abuja . That prompted my write up dated 14th November,2018 on “Almajiri a System to be Abolished or Reformed”.
I redeployed back to the largest city in West Africa ” Ibadan “, Oyo State and I saw a system similar to ALMAJIRI in the biggest City in West Africa. Those children didn’t leave their abode in search for Islamic Education but rather Wanderers on the street! Begging from one junction , Social gatherings,shopping malls e.t.c The children can hardly speak English , No formal education.
Street Begging looks like an acceptable norms to those kids , a means of survival!
I interview some of those kids and they told me they sleep under the bridge , with no blanket and they left Home for close to 3 years or more and never going back .
Some people are one of the opinion that many of them ran away from home without no reason . What will prompt a child under 5 years to leave his or her place of residence if not because no love and care is shown to them by their parents or guardians.
The Culture of Street Begging by underage children is not acceptable in our Society. Many of these kids claimed to hail from the interior part of Oyo State and some of them said their parents are in Lagos hustling and their guardians is not taking good care of them. Prompting them to move to the city to beg for alms.
The kids looking fragile , sick, no clothing and shelter . Crying on the street ” Aunty ,Brother Ejo Efun mi Lowo Ebi Pami ” (please give me money I am hungry ) .
Roaming the Street of Challenge , Molete ,Roundabout, Iwo road ,Iyanganku, Oje Market ,Dugbe , UCH , Ring Road, Sango , Beere, Yemetu, Oke -Ado, State secretariat ,e.t.c
Then I thought about aged Men and Women, agile begging on the street with their kids ? What is the justification for that also ? Would I call it unemployment leading to poverty or laziness of these parents who are not ready to work and care for their kids.
I lived in Lagos , I can’t say no beggars on the street . Travelled and lived in other states in Western Nigeria but I never witnessed such an alarming rates of ” Street Begging perpetrated by underage children in Oyo State.
Those kids are the future leaders and not to grow up and become hoodlums. The government of Oyo State needs to act drastically to eradicate The menace ” Street begging by underage children ”
The children should be rehabilitated in other for them to be useful to theirselves , Family and Country.
The Ministry of Education, Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Ministry of Youths and Sport , Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism needs to work in Hands to eradicate the Menace of Street Begging! Those children should be in school and not on the Street Begging!