Some residents of Lafia metropolis have expressed concern over the influx of child beggars into the Nasarawa State capital and its impact on other children.
They made their opinions known in separate interviews with News Agency of Nigeria in Lafia on Friday.
Hajiya Safiya Zubairu, a resident, said she was deeply worried because the influx was alarming and unavoidable to notice on highways and roads within the metropolis, thereby causing traffic discomfort for motorists.
She called on the Nasarawa State Government to evolve measures that would take the children off the streets and offer them opportunities like education and other engagements that would keep them busy.
She said “honestly, the situation is becoming worse. The moment the traffic light turns red, you see many of these children rushing to beg for money. Sometimes, if one is not careful, they may even steal from you.
“Motorists also have to drive carefully so as not to hit anyone of them. So, it is important government steps in to help them.”
Mr Yusuf Ajegena, another resident, also said that the influx of child beggars to Lafia was of serious concern, adding that “apart from the nuisance the children constitute, they could also be used for criminal intentions.
“We should not just see them as beggars. They can be used to perpetrate crime. So, we must be careful in handling their situation. I want to suggest that government should gather them and put them in an orphanage where they will be well catered for.”
Another resident, Mr Godwin Michael, who also expressed concern over the influx of such children, said it could be due to insecurity challenges faced in other parts of the country.
He advised that the state government should interface with neighbouring states to find out where the children came from, with a view to returning them to their states and families.
He said “the Boko Haram attack in the North East is contributing to this situation. Now we have the herdsmen, farmers clashes which is also causing unrest. If we can resolve these insecurity issues, these children will have better prospect instead of begging.”
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