Governor Abdullahi Ganduje’s ban on street begging in Kano State is not only timely, but it also a good step in the right direction for the benefit of the people. What this means is that begging in any form is forbidden in the state. And according to Ganduje’s spokesperson, Mr Abba Anwar, violators will be arrested and prosecuted. The same fate awaits their parents, too.
Coming on the heels of the recruitment of 7,500 new teachers and the declaration of free but compulsory basic and secondary education in the state, this is one of the best decisions the governor has ever made.
Begging is strictly banned in Saudi Arabia and other oil producing countries in the Gulf. A large number of beggars, mostly foreigners, have been arrested and deported by these countries. In Dubai, street begging is prohibited so much so that an anti-begging campaign was launched by the Dubai Police in collaboration with the government and local authorities. As part of the crackdown, security and civilian patrols were carried out to combat begging in markets, residential areas, Ramadan tents, places of worship and parking spots.
It is, however, suggested that true beggars can reach out to charitable societies, NGOs and philanthropists in the country where they can be helped. Apart from begging, there are other fundamental issues, such as forced child marriage, extreme poverty and lack of birth control, to mention but a few, which Ganduje and other members of the northern elite need to address urgently.
Turkey legislated against polygamy in 1926, likewise Tunisia in 1950. In April 2005, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh of Saudi Arabia declared forced marriage illegal under Islamic law and threatened to prosecute anybody found to be encouraging it. The leaders of northern Nigeria ought to follow such men’s examples.
Anything that diminishes our collective value system and makes our environment insecure must be done away with. The West and some part of the Southern parts of Nigeria abolished the Killing of twins and today, they are free from that barbaric culture and tradition.
Although it remains to be seen whether the people of Kano will comply with the ban on begging, Ganduje ought to be commended for his latest action. He is spot on.