Physically challenged beggars in Kaduna State, on Saturday threatened legal action against the state government for alleged defamation of character and violation of their right to life.
Abdullahi Jugunu, leader of the beggars who stormed Kaduna Secretariat of Nigeria Union of Journalists, where they arrived in buses loaded with men, women and children, said the ban on street begging and hawking in the state was wrong.
Mr. Jugunu insisted the beggars ought to have been consulted before the pronouncement.
The ban by Governor Nasir El-Rufai came hours after Tuesday’s bomb explosion in Sabon Gari area in Zaria.
The government said the move was spurred by the need for enhanced security of lives and properties in the state.
But the beggars faulted the government’s decision. They said they are stakeholders in the state and should have been duly consulted.
“Apart from feeling insulted, we will be seeking legal redress against the government, first for defamation of character,” Mr. Jugunu said. “The ban which came only after the Zaria blast is a subtle way of calling us terrorists. Our right to life is now under threat because our existence is hinged on begging activities on the streets.
“We are giving the authorities three days to rescind their decision or risk being victims of a spell we would profess against them. Our promise for now is that we will be returning to the streets for our normal business.”