By Ola Ajayi

ABOUT 250 beggars in Ibadan during the week protested over low patronage by members of the public following rumours that some rich men usually ‘buy’ money from them for fetish purposes.

The report, according to the spokesperson for the destitute, Imam Abubakar Abdullahi, Serikin Hausawa of the Hausa Community, Oja’ba, Ibadan, had created deep hatred for his people.

Abdullahi said: “The report 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 want 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 help us?”

When asked if some wealthy people do come under the cover of darkness to buy money from them, he said he didn’t know anything about that. He said: “My people see only drivers and traders. We don’t know if some people disguise and come to them to exchange money.

“We are very many, but due to the recent crisis at Shasha market in Akinyele Local Government Area of the state, some of them have gone back to the North. But, those who are here now are up to 250.”

Vanguard News Nigeria

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