HUNDREDS of beggars have besieged the Jigawa State governor’s country residence in his home town of Babura requesting that he comes to their assistance by offering them welfare and palliative packages.
Governor Mohammed Abubakar has been in Badaru to revalidate his membership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as part of the party’s ongoing nationwide registration exercise. As soon as he arrived in the town, however, the governor was besieged by destitutes and beggars as they swarmed on his residence in their hundreds, with no regards whatsoever to Covid-19 protocols.
Governor Abubakar arrived the town accompanied by his deputy, Alhaji Umar Namadi, the acting chairman and caretaker of the Jigawa State chapter of party Alhaji Muhammed Dikkuma and the chairman of the Jigawa State APC membership registration and validation committee, Alhaji Ibrahim Umar Dawakiji. Some members of the Jigawa State House of Assembly and members of the state executive council were also in his entourage.
After waiting for about seven hours to see the governor, the beggars last patience and tried to break through the security cordons. However, his security detail managed to hold them off but the beggars refused to leave, insisting that the governor must offer some handouts before going back to the state capital Dutse.
One of the destitutes, Malamai Larai Hamisu said they were at the governor’s residence to seek for his assistance as they are financially handicapped due to abject poverty bedevilling the community. He added that they were harassed and abused by security personnel attached to the gate of the residence.
He said: We want to lodge our complain to the governor on the ravaging poverty and other social vices attributed to economic hardship. All these, coupled with untold hardship faced by the less-privileged mean that they cannot afford three square meals per day.”
Jigawa is a largely rural state and according to the 2019 poverty and inequality report by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, about nine out of 10 residents of Jigawa, Taraba and Sokoto states live on less than $1 a day. Jigawa has a low literacy level and about 85% of its residents who live in rural areas lack access to basic amenities.