Friday, 1 September 2017


Sani Abacha is a 35 years old cripple who lives in Lagos State.  He left his home state,  Zamfara, for greener pasture in Lagos.

First, he started repairing bicycles in other to earn a living.

Due to his decision not to beg, he started controlling traffic. He controls traffic around Guiness road, Toyin Street, Olowu and Eko Idumota. Some people give him money when they see him working.

He said. "I have been disabled for as long as I can remember. If I wasn't, I would have loved to be a soldier. But with things being this way, I still struggle to survive".

He has a wife and two children who are in Zamfara with his parents. Asides helping the community to manage the traffic, he also drive a Maruwa.

He said.  "The Maruwa is not mine so I pay N1500 to the owner from the N3000 or N3500 I make daily. What is left after fueling is what I take home.

"I intend owning a Maruwa and be empowered someday".

In Calabar,  begging has become an occupation. The young and old have prioritise begging in the city.  We witnessed such situations at Marian by FRSC,  eleven eleven roundabout, Etim-Edem park, ATM points, fast food joints and other crowded areas.  Some of these beggars in Calabar are abled body men and women who can still run a small scale business or better still,  be an apprentice to someone.

The situation is getting worst in Calabar,  because, some mothers now hide behind the scene to send their children out for begging while they sit back and control the 'cash room'.

If this cripple can discover his ability within his disability, I don't see any reason for the physically fit to venture into begging.

In view of the present economic recession, food items and other non consumables have all skyrocated and loss of jobs everywhere, but begging is never a way out of raising a family.

George Odok
Writes from Calabar