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140 beggars arrested in Kaduna

…Blinds Association decries the chasing out of 800 members from colony.

by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

No fewer than 800 people living with disabilities have been reportedly chased out of colony by security operatives in Kaduna state.

Similarly, a total of 140 beggars – mostly the blind – have also been arrested by security agents and taken to Hajj Camp in Mando in Igabi local government area of Kaduna state.

The ‘Association for the Blind’ in Doka District of Kaduna north local government area, Kaduna state, disclosed this, while briefing journalists on Monday at the Nigeria Union of Journalists’ (NUJ) Secretariat, Kaduna.

A spokesman of the blind-cum public relations officer of ‘Arewa Freedom for The Blind,’ Mallam Sadiku Ahmad, told newsmen that the action was precipitated by Kaduna state government.

He complained that their members were not only maltreated, but also forced out of the house in a commando-like-manner, using security agents with guns and arms.

They lamented the arrest of some of their members all over the state, saying, “So far, 140 of our members have been arrested by the security agencies and have been taken to Hajj Camp. We are indigenes of the state.

“We have been living in Kaduna state for the past 30 to 40 years. Some of the political appointees and some of those holding political offices were born before our eyes. So, we’re indigenes.

 “We don’t have any other place to go, and it is disheartening, sad and also unfortunate and disappointing for government to eject us without giving us any other alternative,” they said.

The group appealed the government to be compassionate and be merciful and consider them as citizens and also provide them with the means of livelihood.

According to them, “Begging is a not a business enterprises,” adding that their having taken to begging is not born out of interest or desire, but because of the circumstances they find themselves. Consequently, they appealed to government to provide them skills acquisition training to enable them cater for themselves and their families. 

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