As the child gets to a year or two, the lactating mother and the child will have understanding that the nearness for weaning is inevitable. It is believed that once upon a time, a zone should decide to wean herself of things that do not bring development sense and concentrate on people-oriented policies that will clear the streets of beggars-nuisance.
We cannot be talking about joining the league of developed countries, when we cannot address simple issue of getting rid of the streets of beggars.
Every human society has witnessed the phenomena of street begging at one time or the other and has lingered on without government having to put an end to it.
To some after rehabilitation, the begging ends while others could go on it for life. Street begging as defined by Mortimer (2005) is asking for money without an exchange of services in a public place. It is sometimes a syndrome as it exists in association with other things.
The Nigerian National Planning Commission (2005:34) observed that street begging has been function of joblessness, over-indebtedness, economic dependence, lack of freedom, inability to provide basic needs of life for self and family, lack of access to land and credit and inability to save own assets.
A visit to Enugu, Abia, Ebonyi, Anambra and Imo states will shock one to discover that major streets especially the metropolis have been infiltrated by beggars, who harass and embarrass motorists on daily basis. The most pathetic is that these beggars who constitute nauseating scenes are sighted at junctions and roundabouts where there are control lights. They deploy their wards/children to play on the emotions of citizens.
Igbo society does not encourage begging because they are hardworking people, who will do everything legal to earn and eke a living no matter the situation. The will to survive is innate in Igbo man, the resilience to withstand the harsh storm of life is ever available, the courage to move on despite the circumstantial and circumferential challenges are inborn. Igbo man wants to take the path of honour of going to his friends, or extended family to ask for assistance than condescend too low to beg on the streets.
At what point did these values and virtues that others pride on us wane? Are these beggars-elements imported into the south east to desecrate our values and cultures? Could these beggars-elements be outcome of some of the demolitions of unapproved buildings/shanties by government without providing alternative means of living/housing for the displaced?
I have discovered that most of the accidents at the control lights and defaulting of traffic rules were not deliberate, they were mostly caused by the beggars as the motorists try to avoid hitting them. The manner they beg, tells one that most of them are not really poor, but they are using the wards in their custody to make money.
The other day, one of the little boys, came to my car, and started singing, ‘my brothers and sisters, give me money to eat’, given that I was alone in the car, I said to myself, is this ward programmed to say this? You see, that also made me curious, immediately I tried calling the little boy for a friendly chat, the green light had my accelerator going.
There is need for governments of the day to begin to do something about the unhealthy and polluted environment caused by these beggars. The time to rid the state of street pick-pocketing and other sundry pilfering is now, so that a drastic measure is put in place by ensuring that the relevant ministries clear the streets of the potential security challenges and provide the needed assistance.
Unfortunately, some of these beggars, especially those who beg with newly born babies have refused to be catered for by the relevant ministries, a case was sighted in Imo where the ministry of women affairs and vulnerable group tried to help out a woman with newly born babies but to the chagrin of all and sundry, the mother of the babies screamed… ‘they want to carry my child’.
The south east governors when they gather, should not only discuss political issues, they should also discuss social issues, especially those issues that bother on the lives and livelihood of the citizenry. When those citizens-based issues are ignored, they could deface, mar and make nonsense of any political issues, as there should be all inclusive socio-economic discussions to further the development across the zone.