25-year old Prince Edet, a crippled man who is known in the Ikeja area of Lagos state to be a beggar. Edet according to reports has been in the begging business for 15 years due to his disability.
The number of people who engage in begging these days keeps rising that even the government can’t even take a hold of the situation anymore.
Beggars are seen now in almost every corner of the states, even the places where begging was initially regarded as taboo. Beggars devise new strategies every day to appease their audience or in this case – customers.
However, there are some who are physically challenged who see begging as the only way through which they can have their daily needs met. But when help comes through and these set of people still don’t want to leave the streets, then there is something wrong.
Such is the case of a 25-year old Prince Edet, a crippled man who is known in the Ikeja area of Lagos state to be a beggar. Edet according to reports has been in the begging business for 15 years due to his disability.
However, a man of God healed him thus bringing an end to his begging career. The most unexpected thing then happened!
Edet was not grateful for what the man of God did for him. Instead, he saw the healing as a hindrance to his career. He allegedly fought the man of God for healing him without his consent.
He accused the pastor of ‘invasion of privacy’ and ‘unlawful healing without consent.’
Legitcom reported that begging was the source of income for the Edet who is now healed. He built his 5-bedroom flat from the money he made from his begging business.
Edet described what the man of God did to be ‘disrespectful’.
“I don’t know this man from anywhere. I was doing my regular business when he came close. I asked him for money which he said he had none. So he said ‘I command you in Jesus’ name to walk.’ All of a sudden I could feel I was healed so I tried standing up and here I was walking.”
“This is a complete invasion of privacy and unlawful healing without my consent. At least, first, tell me you want to heal me so that I ask you to give me some three months to intensify the begging and make more cash during that period. You just come from nowhere and heal someone just like that. Who does that? I am extremely angry by such disrespectful behavior,” Prince angrily said.
Although the pastor promised to help him secure a job, an angry Edet rejected his offer. He told the pastor to turn him back into a cripple.
Expressing his view on why most beggars don’t want to leave the streets, consultant psychologist, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos, Dr. Leonard Okonkwo, tried to analyse the development from a psychological angle.
He stressed that most people beg because they see it as an occupation. He also agreed that the trend of begging is on the increase because the players realise it is a lucrative business.
“There is an increase in street begging because, first, people have found it lucrative and whatever is lucrative is bound to be reinforced just as whatever that is reinforced is going to increase in magnitude. It is natural that you will continue doing more of whatever that is lucrative for you because you don’t have to change a winning team. So, there is an increase in begging because people are responding and giving them money.
“Secondly, people beg most of the time because they are in need, but now that is not necessarily the case. People now beg because it has become an occupation. It is now their job and if the job is taking care of their daily bread, they are likely to continue in that line of trade because it is working and yielding the desired fruit.”
He also attributed the increase in begging to the increase in substance abuse and addiction: “There is also an increase in begging because there is a corresponding increase in substance abuse and addiction. Many of the people that go to the street to beg are mainly people who have no shame because they are drug addicts. Many of them go into begging because they have lost everything, they have lost their family and everything and it is hard to continue with the habit of their drug use, so they resort to begging.”