By Muhammed Faisal Mustapha
Two Muslim Groups, the Ghana Muslim Broadcast Journalists Association and the Northerners and Zongos Concerned Youth Association Ghana, have backed the move by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), to remove all beggars on the streets of Accra.
The media in an interview with the deputy National Coordinator for the associations, Alhaji Muhammed Osuman Muhammed, described begging as unIslamic and needed to be condemn in the society.
He said, the AMA, has taking bold initiative which need all institutions on board to help the AMA achieve its aim in removing the beggars out of the streets.
This he called on institutions like the immigration Service, Police and all enforcement agencies to involve in the move to ensure total removal and repatriation of the beggars . ‘Most of these beggars come from Niger and Nigeria respectively to sell their goods, after delivering their goods to their customers
they go to the streets to beg’ he noted.
This he added that it is clear indication that those beggars are not financially handicapped but have adopted a strategy to make money from illegal means.
According to him, countries like Nigeria and Niger have started ejecting beggars on their streets as well as prosecuting them adding that Ghana’s case will not be different if it took a decision to repatriate beggars to their various countries.
Benin and Togo, he stated that have repatriated streets beggars to their countries, therefore these beggars have turn Ghana into their next place to operate hence the recent increase of beggars on the streets across the city.
He further revealed that most of the children use by beggars are been trafficked from their various countries which Ghana is used as the final destination to trade with the innocent children which some of them are been abused and assaulted by their masters.
Alhaji Muhammed Osuman Muhammed, urged politicians not to make politics out for this laudable move by the AMA to remove street begging but rather come on board to help build a better Ghana.
The associations he said are ready to support the AMA, the immigration and any institution which may need their assistance in dealing with the issue.
It will be recalled that the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) on Thursday, May 25, 2018 began a special exercise to rid Accra streets of children and beggars.
The AMA identified and picked up 200 persons including children believed to be from Niger and Nigeria on some ceremonial routes, streets, under bridges, and in traffic, begging for alms from benevolent individuals.
The exercise was in collaboration with the La Dadekotopon Municipal Assembly.
The areas the exercise covered included Mövenpick Hotel, Trade Union Congress (TUC), Cathedral, 37 Military Hospital, Airport City, Airport Junction and Accra Mall, Spanner junction traffic light, and the Ghana Standards Board (Shiashie).
The AMA, according to its statement was working in close collaboration with the Department of Social Welfare towards the reformation and reintegration of these persons into society.
It said other areas that the exercise would be extended to are Kaneshie overhead bridge, Nima and Maamobi, and at traffic intersections at Sunny FM, Okponglo (Ghana Standards Authority) and Graphic Road stretch, the footbridges at the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange, as well as bus terminals like the Neoplan Bus Stop at Achimota, Circle, Kaneshie and the Korle-Bu traffic light.
The statement therefore, urged the public to cooperate with the AMA and should desist from giving money to beggars on the streets as they would be violating the Beggars and Destitute Act, 1969 (PNDCL 392), which criminalises the act of begging and giving alms to beggars.