Why we returned female beggar to Anambra – Delta State govt

THE Delta State Government has explained why it returned a 32-year-old beggar, Ogochukwu Nwabude, to her hometown in Anambra State.

Nwabude, who begged for alms with her baby in Asaba, Delta State capital, was allegedly deported to Anambra for constituting a nuisance, according to an aide to the Anambra State Commissioner for Women and Social Welfare Ify Obinabo.

Obinabo, in a statement on Friday, April 7, said the beggar was “repatriated” from Delta.

Reacting to the issue, the Delta State Government said the woman was not deported as claimed by the Anambra State official.

A statement released on Sunday, April 9, by the Delta State governor’s spokesperson Olisa Ifeajika, explained the circumstances surrounding the woman’s return to Anambra.

The statement noted that the woman was begging for alms at Inter Bau Roundabout in Asaba, the state capital for two weeks.

Ifeajika said a check was conducted on the woman by officials of the state ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.

“After observing her for a period, it was revealed that she was stable and of sound mind but needed financial help.

“And moved by her need and as with standard procedure in handling such matters, the ministry gave her some assistance, especially as she was with a baby,” she added.

According to Ifeajika, the ministry, consequently, returned her to its counterpart Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development in Anambra State for necessary support.

He further explained that the development was a routine activity on similar cases, which often transpired among states in the country and Federal Capital Territory.

“The insinuations in some quarters that the woman was deported by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State Government are, therefore, uncharitable.

“The Delta State Government acted in good faith and within the ambit of regulations, which Anambra State Government acknowledged with gratitude,” Ifeajika added.

Meanwhile The ICIR gathered that Delta State Government had in the past frowned at child begging and labour in the state.

In February 2022, the government arrested 28 beggars, consisting of six women and 22 children for allegedly violating the law that bans street begging in the state.

According to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs, Community Development and Social Welfare, Oghenwkevwe Agas, Delta has a law that regulates child labour and trafficking and the law will take its cause.

According to her, six women disguised as blind persons to use the children to beg for alms, adding that 22 children were used as beggars instead of allowing them to go to school.

Nigeria in multidimensional poverty

In November 2022, The ICIR reported that about 133 million people in Nigeria are living in different categories of poverty. The figure translates to 63 per cent of the country’s population.

The Federal Government disclosed this in its latest “multi-dimensional” poverty report, noting that 65 per cent (86 million people) of the poor live in the North.

Delta, Anambra and other southern states contribute to the remaining 35 per cent (nearly 47 million) living in poverty.

The poverty levels across states vary significantly, with the incidence of multi-dimensional poverty ranging from a low of 27 per cent in Ondo to a high of 91 per cent in Sokoto.

The report further noted that multidimensional poverty is higher in rural areas, where 72 per cent of people are poor, compared to 42 per cent of people in urban areas.

Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: umustapha@icirnigeria.com. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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