A former lawmaker, Senator Shehu Sani, has rubbished moves by some state governors in the North to arrest beggars found on the streets.
According to Sani, poverty and illiteracy must be addressed before begging can be brought to an end.
He expressed his thoughts in a statement on Thursday in Abuja while reacting to plans by Kano and Nasarawa states to criminalise and arrest persons begging for alms on the streets.
Sani said, “You can arrest beggars but you can’t end begging as long as the social, cultural, political and economic factors that contribute to begging exists.
“Beggars are tragic victims and direct result of a nation failed by its successive governing elites. You can’t end begging without ending poverty and illiteracy.”
The former lawmaker blamed politicians for making use of beggars to win elections and demonise opponents.
Sani called on elites to retrace their steps, adding that crude oil had not enriched the people of Niger Delta while political power was yet to bring wealth nor peace to the North.