Insecurity: Niger bans street begging

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Niger State Government has banned all forms of street begging just as the administration said it was working to resolve issues arising from abuse of children by some Islamic clerics who set up almajiri schools for self enrichment.

The government also said plans were on to integrate the almajiri system of education (Tsangaya) with the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), to check all forms of abuse of children with the ministry of Women Affairs and Youth and Sports development playing pivotal role.

The Commissioner for Information and Communication, Alhaji Mohammed Sani Idris,who disclosed the decision after the weekly State Executive Council meeting in Minna said the ban was with immediate effect.

Mohammed Sani also attributed the administration’s “hard stance” on all forms of begging as part of efforts to check rising security threats and ensure that the cultural attachments to almajirinchi remained intact.

Though observers noted that similar laws in other states have more or less turned Niger state to a dumping ground for kid beggars and destitute, the commissioner said efforts were being made to check the trend and its attendant negative implications on the state.

The commissioner, flanked by his counterpart for Justice, Mr. Nasara Dan-Mallam, said “We cannot continue to watch as Niger state is being turned as a dumping ground for beggars, destitute from other states constituting security problems we have in the state”.

“Anybody caught begging will be repatriated to his/her state of origin. All that the state is trying to do is not against almajirinci, but to save it from being corrupted by fake mallams who take advantage of children they recruit to beg for them ”.

Under the new order, the Commissioners told journalists that “Quranic teachers interested in running schools for the almanjiris should be able to provide them with accommodation and feeding without sending them out to beg”.

Duaglobalnews reports that there are more than enough Tsangaya schools across the three senatorial zones of the state, run by the state government to accommodate interested almajiris.

“What we will not tolerate is somebody running almajiri schools in a way of turning them into beggars,” the commissioner said.
“Gradually, Minna the state capital, is becoming a dumping ground for almajiris and destitute. The most annoying thing is that, we discovered that many of them are not even from Niger state.”

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