Hundreds of beggars in Kaduna State have accused the Governor Nasir el-Rufa’I of having deceived them with empty campaign promises to gain their votes going by his insistence on implementing the anti-begging law in the state.
The beggars under the aegis of the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities had stormed the Kaduna Government House requesting that el-Rufa’I fulfills his campaign promise of taking adequate care of them before driving them off the streets.
The governor has assented to the law passed by the House of Assembly outlawing begging in the state.
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Spokesperson of the protesting beggars, Muntari Sale, decried the governor’s nonchalant attitude, accusing him of having disdain towards people living with disability and vowed not to relent in their efforts until the governor fulfilled his promise.
“We demand that the governor of the state, Malam Nasir El-Rufai and members of the State House of Assembly to fulfil the promises they made to us during their campaign while seeking for votes from us.
“The Governor promised us that he will not ban street begging until he makes adequate arrangement for our upkeep and welfare.
“He promised that 30 per cent of our members would be giving employment anytime the state government has a programme running which has not been met, he also promised to provide for the sick, educate our children and employ those in different skills with a view to easing the suffering of the people living with disability.”
According to Sale, if the law did not work in states like Kano, Edo, Lagos and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, it would not work in Kaduna.
He said, “This law was passed in Kano, Edo and Lagos states as well as the FCT and they did not succeed, the government has not made adequate arrangements for us and yet it wants to ban us from our only source of livelihood.
“We are human beings like everyone, the way everybody is delivering children, that is the same way we are, the way people marry is the way we marry and the way parents try to educate their children is the same way we try to educate ours.
“He promised to employ our children, unfortunately, he has employed people in the Kaduna State Traffic and Environmental Law Enforcement Agency (KASTELEA), but none of our children were employed. He also employed street sweepers and none of our children were employed. They employed women to cook food for state schools the school feeding programme, yet none of our wives or children have benefited.
“The way every individual used their thumb to voted for El-Rufai, that is the way people living with disability also voted for him, including the deaf, dumb, blind and cripples.”