•A cross section of beggars
About 250 beggars in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, Thursday protested low patronage by members of the public following rumours that some rich men usually ‘buy’ money from them for fetish purposes.
According to the spokesperson for the destitute, Imam Abubakar Abdullahi, Serikin Hausawa of Hausawa Community, Oja’ba, Ibadan, the situation had created deep hatred for his people.
Abdullahi said: “The reports that some wealthy people are buying money from beggars including the physically-challenged people for money rituals is not true. As a result of the claim that some ritualists do buy money from these beggars, there has been public resentment against these innocent people.
“What we know is that traders, hawkers and commercial drivers do come to these beggars who are mainly blind and lame people, to change money. We have come to protest in order to clear our names, so that people will not be punishing us for offences we don’t know anything about. We notice that people no longer want to extend hands of generosity to these helpless people.
“We don’t want to wait until the matter is blown out of proportion. It is good to let the public know that we are all one. How can we be doing such a thing to good people who consider our plights and bless us.”