Oyo moves to criminalise street begging
• Islamic scholar urges giving as panacea to poverty
Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has hinted of plan by his administration to outlaw street begging in the state.Ajimobi made the disclosure yesterday at the second General Assembly of Muslim Umaah of South West, Nigeria in Ibadan.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Ishmael Alli, the governor argued that there was no reason for anyone to resort to alms begging in the state, adding that some of the beggars had been involved in crimes, thereby increasing vices across the length and breadth of the state.
“We have heard now that Islam forbids begging, likewise government. We urge the media, law enforcement agencies and religious bodies to join government in discouraging it.
“The reason why government had embarked on many programmes such as the agricultural initiatives, is to get all its residents involved in decent endeavours and living,” he said.Ajimobi solicited support for government’s policies, saying they were for the benefit of all.
Meanwhile, an Islamic scholar, Alhaji Femi Abbas, has described Zakaah as a solution to the eradication of poverty in the society.Abbas, who delivered the event’s 2016 lecture titled “Zakaah and Poverty Alleviation,” blamed the increasing insecurity, corruption and other social vices in the land on poverty.
Zakaah, regarded as one of the five pillars of the Islamic faith, prescribes that 2.5 per cent of a Muslim’s net income should be given to the poor. He, however, lamented the non-adherence to the injunction by most faithful.
“Zakaah is a necessity. It allows the imprisoned to be out of jail and the sick to be on their feet, “ the scholar said.
According to Abbas, “if the rich can give to the poor, both the rich and the poor in every society will co-exist peacefully.
“If Muslims in Nigeria can generate N34 billion on Zakaah every year, there will be less poverty and less begging,” he added.