Recently, a raid by the Nigerian Rapid Response Squad (RRS) in Lagos found a beggar who earns N300,000 monthly.
The 56-year-old who is a native of Oyo state in Nigeria was arrested last week Friday along with 17 others including a phone thief, drug peddlers, and some drug addicts, when a stolen phone was tracked to the beggars’ lair. Olatunbosun (the beggar) told Nigerian Vanguard
“I make over N10,000 daily doing corporate begging. Every day, I am always on Mobolaji Bank Anthony Road, Toyin Street and Opebi Road begging for money.
“I get LASUTH (Lagos State University Teaching Hospital) drug prescription papers from their waste bins. With the papers in my hand, I convince motorists, passengers and passersby that I have a relative who is in dire need of money to buy drugs and I show them the prescription papers.
What does he do with all the money?
The beggar who revealed that he has a family of 4 kids surprisingly spends all the money he gets from begging on illegal drugs. According to him, “This is what I have been doing since I was deported from Germany in 2004. Unfortunately, all the money I make from begging goes into drugs. I make more money on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. I make more than N10,000 each day.”
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Buying Pity Or Not?
“I was in Ipodo drug joint, Ikeja, when I was arrested. I was on drug when I was picked up. I have never been arrested for any offence before. I am praying that RRS release me. I promise I won’t go back to drug again.”
He also pleaded to the public for help, adding that the drug dealers also be arrested because without them there would be no drugs to sell to drug addicts like him. In his own words,
“If anybody wants to help us, they should arrest the drug barons or dealers. Arresting us won’t solve drug problem because without the sellers, there won’t be the users. You arrest the dealers, then you have cut the supply chain and have thus prevented us from getting the drugs. Without that, we will always find our ways back to drug joints whenever we are released.”
This will surely hurt the image of beggars even more, and will come as a disadvantage to those whose life has genuinely pushed them to the streets to beg.
Do you think all beggars do this or is it unique to just this one?