Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka
The Anambra State government has arrested a middle-aged woman, Mrs. Uju Obiekwe, for allegedly using persons with “fake ailment” to beg for alms around various cities in the state.
The woman who claimed to be a widow said she joined the syndicate after the demise of her husband and was being paid N1, 500 daily.
She was apprehended with her accomplices at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University junction, Awka, by the agents of the State Ministry of Social Welfare, Children and Women Affairs.
Operating under a group called, “The Rescue Helpers People Foundation Incorporation,” located in Oba, Idemili South local government of the state, they were caught using a young girl with a bandaged stomach to beg for alms from unsuspecting members of the public.
Confessing to the crime, the Obiekwe said: “I joined the syndicate after the death of my husband. They pay me N1, 500 daily.”
The Commissioner for Social Welfare, Children and Women Affairs, Lady Ndidi Mezue who paraded the suspects in her office in Awka, decried the action of the suspects, adding that with the activities of her ministry in conjunction with the wife of the governor, Chief Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano, no one should be found begging in the streets of the state.
Noting that most of the beggars were from neighbouring states, Lady Mezue assured of her ministry’s readiness to rid the state of mentally-challenged people and beggars.
According the commissioner, the ministry had empowered several persons in collaboration with the Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFÉ) of the governor’s wife stressing: “We have trained people who are unemployed at the various skill-acquisition centres, after which they were empowered.”