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Kaduna beggars, destitute vow to sue El-Rufai over ban on street begging

By Saxone Akhaine, Northern Bureau Chief
14 July 2015   |   3:38 am
BEGGARS and destitute persons in their hundreds at the weekend, threatened to take legal action against the Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai for alleged defamation of character as terrorists, thereby asking them to stay away from the streets.
Nasir El-Rufai

Nasir El-Rufai

Call on govt to provide gainful employment in the state

BEGGARS and destitute persons in their hundreds at the weekend, threatened to take legal action against the Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai for alleged defamation of character as terrorists, thereby asking them to stay away from the streets.

It would be recalled that El-Rufai, as part of security measures to curtail the incessant activities of terrorists in the state, after the Zaria bomb blast that killed scores of workers, announced the ban on street hawking and begging, threatening to arrest anyone found violating the order.

However, the beggars who stormed the Kaduna State Council Secretariat of Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ) at the weekend to address a press conference said the governor’s ban was a gentle way of calling them terrorists, hence the need to take legal action against the governor for defamation and to seek redress.

While daring the governor’s order, the beggars and destitute said that they would remain on the streets, until the government gets them gainful employment.

Speaking on behalf of the beggars, leader of the group, Mallam Sambisa Gorungu said that it was unfortunate that while the government has not put in place any welfare scheme for beggars and other destitute persons, a ban has been placed against begging.

He insisted that beggars have the constitutional right to stay wherever they wish, saying until their demands are met for government to provide painful employment, the government should prepare their graves because they would fight the battle to finish.

The beggars expressed regrets on voting for Malam Nasir el-Rufai in the just-concluded governorship election, only for him to pay them back with the ban on beggars in the state.

However, the beggars who thronged out in their numbers, both men and women, young and old, said they were giving the authorities three days to rescind their decision or risk a total protest that would crumble government activities in the state.