Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, has disclosed that the state government had concluded arrangements to rehabilitate and train beggars to acquire various skills that will make them self reliant.
The governor disclosed this on Tuesday when he visited the Kano Road beggers’ colony and Kaduna State Rahabilitation Centre, Kakuri.
The governor’s visit followed the recent ban on street begging and hawking which led to protest by the beggars.
The beggars who had during their protest last weekend, threatened to drag the state government to court over the matter, however, agreed to give up begging since the government plans to train them to acquire skills.
The governor reiterated that the decision to ban street begging and hawking became imperative as a result of the security challenges, maintaining that the interest of a group who think they have the right to beg for alms cannot override the security of over eight million people living in Kaduna State.
El-Rufai said the state own rehabilitation centre in Kakuri area of the metropolis with a capacity of housing and training 500 the physically challenged will be soon rehabilitated and used for training of the beggars affected by the ban.
He dispelled rumours that beggars who are non-indigenes would be repatriated, saying that anyone resident in Kaduna would be given equal opportunity under his administration.
“There is no going back on the ban of street begging, but we are not going to repatriate anybody. The problem is here and we will solve it here,” he said.
In his response during the meeting with the governor, the leader of the beggars in the state, Mallam Abdullahi Samaila commended the governor for the visit and promised that his members will cooperate with the government .
He said none of them derive pleasure in begging for alms, stressing that they will abandon the trade if the governor fulfils his promises to them.