Despite raking in billions of naira monthly from internally generated revenue (IGR), allocation from the federation accounts, the 13 percent derivation funds from oil produced in the state and several other sundry sources of revenue, the state has not been able to deal with sharply rising incidence of juvenile delinquency in the state.
In the face of its ever increasing share of the federal allocation and other resources, the question has continued to be asked where the money has been going, particularly when the welfare of citizens, workers and retirees are not taken care of.
Findings by National Point reveal that there has been progressive increase in the number of out-of-school children roaming the streets begging for a living.
It was a pathetic moment along Woji Road GRA, where young Success David was found lying on the bare floor as passers-by thought he was dead. Some people were about calling the authorities to report about a body lying in the street when one of the people, Wisdom tapped the boy on the leg only to find out that there was still life in him.
Speaking to National Point Success David, who is 15 years old and who hails from Ahoada in Ahoada East Local Government Area of Rivers State and a student of Community Secondary School, Rumuosi in Obio/Akpor JSS3 and was lured into begging by his schoolmate by name, Godswill.
Success took National Point down to Omega Power Ministry (OPM) Street, where he disclosed that they were many that were into this begging business and a handful of them were from Rivers State.
He said, “The reason I started begging is because I do it to take care of my ailing mum though I have an elder brother by name Favour David, aged 21 who stays at Rumuosi who is not aware that I have started begging in GRA.
“I stay at OPM Street in GRA but I am from Ahoada, a JSS3 student of Community Secondary School Rumuosi. My mother is alive while my father is dead. My friend Godswill lured me into begging to be able to take care of my sick mother. We are many children doing this begging many of them are from Rivers State.
“I have an elder brother whose name is Favour David. He’s 21 years old and stays alone at Rumuosi and he is not aware of what I am doing and nobody knows my whereabouts.
“I left school last year because of my friend. We attend the same school. He advised me to join him in begging so that we will have money to save and start taking care of my mother since we have no helper which I agreed?”
Asked if he was willing to reunite with his family, Success David said he was. “I am willing to go back to my family at the end of this year. Like now I am sick if not that you woke me up here it will be till the next day, come rain come shine. I am having severe stomach bite; I don’t want to live in the street begging again,” he lamented.
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