Sadiya Ado is a beggar in Ibadan, Oyo State, she is from Wudil Local Government Area of Kano State. to her, with just about two months into the Bola Tinubu government, “the Buhari administration was better than the present one”.
She told Saturday Tribune during the week that those who commonly gave them alms in the past do not give them again because they are barely getting by themselves.
Ado said: “We can’t compare the past administration to the present one. The past was far better than the present because then when we came out to beg, people gave us alms and we were able to feed but now we are just managing because those who used to give to us do not have again. And if they do not have, what can we do?”
The widow and mother of four explained that she came begging for alms in Ibadan, from Kano because she did not get support from her in-laws after the demise of her husband.
“I came here because of lack. My husband died and left me with the children and I don’t have anything to feed them with. So, I came here to beg for alms. He was sick for a short period and then he passed on five years ago, leaving me with our four children.
“Since my husband died, his family has never brought even a grain of rice for me and the children. I was left alone with the children without any form of support. It was just my siblings that supported me from time to time,” she said.
Sadiya, who is begging alongside her children, said she allowed the young ones beg around, something she said she wouldnt do in the North.
“We are worried about the safety of our children as they go to beg alone but we do not have a choice. However, it is safer here than it is in the North. If we were in the North, we would not have allowed them to roam the streets alone.
“If I had what to feed my children with, I wouldn’t have come here to beg but if I had stayed there, we would just starve. I had to come here with them because I could not leave them at home because they were quite very young when my husband died.” She added that her oldest daughter is ripe for marriage and she is planning on marrying her off.
“Three of them are here with me but the eldest one is back in Kano because I want to marry her off. Why she has not married is because the man she is in love with is different from the person we chose for her; so we are still discussing how we can come to an agreement.
“I don’t know how old she is because I don’t keep the records in my head. I just know that she is ripe for marriage,” she added.
She revealed that she and others like her do not like their condition and would have loved to remain in their home states if they had other sources of income.
She pleaded with the Federal Government to lift the poor out of poverty as they “went through stress to vote them into power.”
“Most of us don’t like it here but we have no other choice. If I had a small business to do in Kano, I would have gladly stayed at home. Why we came here in the first place is to find something to feed on and if I have a business that brings in some income enough to take care of myself and my children, I would have no reason being here.
“I am pleading with the government at all levels to please help us. It was we the poor that went through the stress to vote them into power so they should lift us out of this poverty,” she told Saturday Tribune.
She decried the impact of insecurity on food production and the amount of hunger it has brought to the North.