News Update

Awka: Battling the Menace of Beggars

Not long ago the Anambra State Commissioner for Women’s Affairs and Social Welfare, Hon Mrs Ify Obinabo, raised an alarm about how beggars from other states were being deposited by some persons in parts of Anambra, especially the capital city of Awka. Her alarm was triggered by the increasing number of beggars seen around the state, especially in the Awka Metropolis.

Indeed, a close observer would notice that new faces keep surfacing at a particular spot in Awka which is under the Aroma Bridge and also the Pedestrian Bridge at Unizik Tempsite Junction. More disturbing is the fact that some of the women have little children begging for them and we understand from past experience that those children are not theirs as they are leased to them to assist in begging for alms.

At other times too, one sees the women cuddling infants who, we also understand, are leased to them in order to help curry sympathy from members of the public. No one knows where they come from. And this tends to lay credence to what the Commissioner said.

We find the growing number of these beggars all over Anambra State worrying. What in God’s name are all these numbers of beggars doing here? Is Anambra the new haven for beggars? What is the rationale in people from outside the state dumping beggars from their places into Anambra State? This is as ridiculous as it is absurd.

Added to the beggars are the mentally challenged who now roam the streets of Awka. On a few occasions, some of them had been seemingly knocked down by vehicles and left to lie on the road. The other day the corpse of one of them was seen lying in the Step Area of Aroma in Awka. The corpse was there for almost two days before it was removed.

Now, on Sunday morning, July 16, a man who appeared to be mentally challenged was seen sitting and smoking a cigarette on one side of the Aroma Under Bridge but a few hours later his mangled body was seen a few steps from where  he was earlier seen. He was apparently run over by a hit and run vehicle.

These are not sights one should be seeing in a capital city as they can come with some health hazards. We therefore urge all the appropriate authorities to strategize on how to rid the state of these unwanted elements on the road.