Some Beggars who besieged the NUJ Secretariat in Kaduna on Monday said they had used proceeds from begging to facilitate the election of Governor El Rufai of Kaduna State and promised to bring down his government should he insist on stopping them from begging – their means of livelihood.
They said the governor had not provided any alternative to them.
Addressing the Press in Kaduna under the aegis of Kaduna State Beggars Association, the beggars said if they knew that El Rufai would stop them from begging and would show no care about their welfare afterwards, they would never have voted him in.
The leader of the group, Mallam Yahaya Makaho, a visually challenged person who spoke on behalf of the group said: “I want to swear on my honour that I personally used my proceeds from begging to canvass for the support of El Rufai. I used my money to mobilise for his support, both on the streets and where I usually teach my students, and I am not alone in my group that made that sacrifice.
“We decided to support El Rufai, because we were tired of the then governor, (Mukhtar Ramalan Yero) who did not show any regards for our survival.
We worked hard, spent money and prayed and God heard or prayers and brought down Yero.
“Now, it would appear that we made a mistake. The new governor wants to bring us down.
“He does not want us to live. He has chased us out of the streets and has made no alternative arrangement for our survival.
“Look, some of us here have between three and four wives and many children.
“How can you lock up such a man, who must resort to begging because he has found himself incapable of doing any other thing?
“We are asking the governor to rescind this decision now or find ways to meet our basic needs.
“If he refuses to heed this demand, we shall make sure we bring down his government.”
It could be recalled that Mallam El Rufai stopped street begging, saying he would provide an abode for them where they would stay rather than them begging on the street.
He also maintained that beggars and hawkers are used by terrorists to innocently courier bombs for them.