Two men who took to begging for their livelihood say they make so much money from the business.
While some people manage to earn a living while working real hard, a drug addict who was arrested by the police in Lagos, Kehinde Olatunbosun, says he makes a minimum of N300,000 every month from begging.
Olatunbosun who pretended to be very sick and needed money to buy drugs, also claimed he played on the benevolence of Nigerian who give him money that he uses to fund his drug addiction.
The 56-year-old suspect, revealed that actually picks prescription papers from the waste bins of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, and goes about begging Lagosians for financial assistance to buy the drugs.
Olatunbosun, who was arrested along with 18 other suspected drug addicts at a run down joint in Ipodo area of Ikeja, by the Lagos State Command’s Rapid Response Squad, added that he preyed on the good nature of Lagosians.
The RRS team allegedly traced a stolen phone to the joint where three three suspected mobile phone thieves, three suspected hard drug peddlers and 13 suspected drug addicts, were arrested.
Olatunbosun who stated that he was not a thief, but a hustler, usually operates along the Mobolaji Bank Anthony Road, Allen Avenue, Toyin Street and Opebi Road, all in Ikeja, where he says he makes an average of N10,000 daily.
“I make over N10,000 daily doing corporate begging. Every day, I am always on Mobolaji Bank Anthony Road, Allen Avenue, Toyin Street and Opebi Road begging for money.
I get LASUTH drug prescription papers from their waste bins. With the papers in my hand, I convince motorists, passengers and passersby that I have a relative who is in dare need of money to buy drugs and I show them the prescription papers.
This is what I have been doing since I was deported from Germany in 2004. Unfortunately, all the money I make from begging goes into drugs. I make more money on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. I make more than N10,000 each day.
I was in Ipodo drug joint, Ikeja, when I was arrested. I was on drug when I was picked up. I have never been arrested for any offence before. I am praying that RRS release me. I promise I won’t go back to drug again.”
Another suspect, Dada Ajayi, said he was helpless against hard drugs.
“For more than 17 years, I have been addicted to hard drugs. I frequent that joint because I have nowhere to go. I have lived the better part of my life consuming drugs.
Right now, I have lost my family because of drug addiction. I don’t know where to start my life again. I can’t stop going to that drug joint because it is the only place where I get consolation. It is the only place where I am at peace with myself.
If anybody wants to help us, they should arrest the drug barons or dealers. Arresting us won’t solve drug problem because without the sellers, there won’t be the users.
You arrest the dealers, then you have cut the supply chain and have thus prevented us from getting the drugs. Without that, we will always find our ways back to drug joints whenever we are released.”