By Uzair Adam Imam
Who could have thought that the lingering issue of street begging would still be persistent despite the imposition of an outright ban on begging by the state government? Likewise, who would believe that the state government will continue to be the captive of the past, allowing Almajiri parents to drop around their children for Qur’anic education without shelter, food or clothing?
This and many more have called into question the government’s effort to end street begging in the state.
Recalling the statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Kano State, Abba Anwar, the Kano State Government announced the ban of street begging in the state. It said that the effort was to fully consolidate the free and compulsory primary and secondary schools education.
“The decision was meant to integrate the Almajiri system into the policy and address the lingering problem of street begging,” Governor Abdullahi Ganduje said in the statement. He further warned that Almajiri teachers must accept the newly introduced approach by the government and that “If Almijiri teacher thinks he cannot accept the new policy he has to leave the state.
“When Almajiri are caught begging, it is not only that beggar is caught but also his parents or guardians. Such parents or guardians would be taken to court to face the wrath of the law,” the governor added.
The statement disclosed that the newly introduced system was meant to allow the beggars to continue their studies to secondary school and beyond.
But despite the declaration, promises and threats against beggars and their teachers, beggars are still on the state’s streets. They beg from car to car, tricycle to tricycle and from person to person freely and in the presence of security personnel.
Meanwhile, Almajiris in Kano were neither being thwarted from begging nor introduced to western education, as the governor promised.
One of the Almajiri teachers in the state who spoke with The Daily Reality said, “I had no idea of the new policy the state government introduced and no official of the government contacted him ok the policy.”
An educationalist, who prefers not to be named, opined that; “I believe this will definitely be a joyous and celebratory idea if the government could be able to implement the new system.
“But sometimes government plays politics, and I am afraid this might be one, considering the length of time since the assertion was made.” He observed.
Some beggars who were brought to the city from Minjibir explained to our reporter that they face no challenge from anyone. According to them, they move around freely in every nook and cranny, including Nassarawa GRA, where the Kano State Government House is situated.
“We are brought here for Qur’anic education from Minjibir Local Government. Our Tsangaya is situated at Rimin Kebe, Ungogo LGA, and we are not even aware of the ban on begging in the state.”
The lingering problem of street begging is known to anyone living in Kano and the North, or even the country as a whole. But it is worse than expected in the North.
Kano State Government’s idea of banning street begging is an idea many residents applauded when launched. The ban was introduced to enable the Almajiri to acquire western education while undergoing their Qur’anic education. The ultimate goal was to empower them in society.