Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has directed the state government to immediately remove beggars from the streets of Uyo, the state capital.
The assembly, Thursday, unanimously passed a resolution to that effect, after hearing a motion brought before it by the member representing Oruk-Anam State Constituency, Udo Kieran.
The Assembly directed the commissioner for women affairs to work with the Uyo Capital City Development Authority to ensure that the resolution was effectively carried out.
The beggars – some of them said to be underage children – should be rehabilitated in children’s home or other rehabilitation facilities in the state, the assembly said.
Mr. Kieran, who is the majority leader of the House, told the assembly that the influx of beggars and their daily activities in Uyo was becoming alarming, and should be discouraged, especially with the current security situation in the country.
Mr. Kieran also said the sight of beggars almost everywhere within the city of Uyo was capable of having psychological effect on the people of the state.
“On daily basis, most especially in the afternoons and evenings, women and children stand at strategic junctions cuddling babies and toddlers begging for alms,” Kieran had said, while arguing his motion.
“These beggars, who are mostly non-indigenes of Akwa Ibom State, stand at Two-Lane junction by Ibom Hall, the Ibom Plaza, among other places.”
Aniekan Uko (Ibesikpo Asutan), while arguing in support of the motion, said the beggars couldn’t have come from Akwa Ibom because, according to him, begging was alien to the people’s culture and tradition.
Ime Okon (Ibiono Ibom), in his contribution to the debate, said that an average Akwa Ibom person would do everything to protect his dignity, and would therefore not find it dignifying to stand on the streets to beg.
The assembly directed security agencies in the state to find out where the beggars sleep at night, and if they had other motives for coming to the state.
The Speaker, Onofiok Luke, thanked members for being sensitive to issues affecting the people of the state, and urged security agencies to live up to their responsibility.
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