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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Back home, bandits did not allow us to enjoy our lives and here, we couldn’t find any job to do

Zaiha Ado desires to have her own business and rest from begging on the streets.
Zaiha, who came from a border town near Niger Republic, said she and her husband were chased away from their village by bandits where they were farmers.
“Before we moved here we were farmers but bandits stopped us from farming. You’d be working on your farm and they would shoot you and if you’re lucky to escape, fine, if not that’s the end,” she told Saturday Tribune at Mobil Junction in Ibadan during the week.
Zaiha said they did not enjoy their lives back in the north so they moved to Ibadan in search of a better job to cater for their children.
“We did not have food. My husband did not have a job again so we moved here looking for a source of livelihood. Back home, they did not allow us to enjoy our lives and here, we couldn’t find any job to do. We are out here just looking for food, we have children to feed.
“We are here together with my husband and if my husband gets a job, that would mean I’ve gotten a job as well because he will get something for me to be doing. I don’t like this begging but this is the will of God and what fate has for me. I have female children, God gave me six girls with my late husband, the boys did not stay and the girls are all married. I’m just here with the ones I had with my current husband, a boy, and a girl, but I don’t have anything to cater for them. If I have I would not sit here begging,” she said.
She said her husband was a cab driver before he lost his job which has forced them to be back on the streets to beg again.
“My husband used to be a cab driver but it stopped, people bad-mouthed him and we are here now. If I get anything through begging we buy food to eat, if I don’t, we exercise patience. I have been here for eight years while my husband has been here for almost 10 years. So, if we get money, we buy food stuffs and if we don’t, we thank God. We have not been able to save enough to go back to our village to rest. We also need rest,” she added.
Zaiha said she would not be begging if she had the resources to set up a business stressing that she would not be begging with her kind of energy.
“If we had resources, trust me you will not see us begging here. Someone like me with my energy will not be here begging, I prefer to have a business but I don’t have the money to set it up. Look at my children, I want to go back home so that my son can join the Islamia (Arabic school).
“We send our children to school once they are grown enough to join the Islamia. We don’t just leave them at home. We don’t send them to the conventional school not because we don’t want them to have the conventional education but because we do not have the resources to send them there. The Islamia is free, you just provide for the child what to wear and food to eat and that is all,” she said.
Zaiha said she is popular around the Mobil Junction, Ring Road, Ibadan and believes that if she starts any business there it will move.
“I will love to have a business around here; I am popular here so I think my business will sell but my major challenge is finance. Anybody you see seated here is not enjoying it. I am praying to God to take away this shame so I can take care of the children I have at home, some of them have five children, some three and four, so I need to take care of them. The little ones I have here are from my second husband; I lost my first husband, so I married this man I am here with,” Zaiha told Saturday Tribune.

She said her family’s situation has deteriorated since the Central Bank of Nigeria came up with the new naira policy and asked people to deposit their old notes in the banks while she prayed that the president-elect will help them with jobs.
“Our situation keeps deteriorating because of the cash swap. Since the government asked people to take their old notes to the bank, it has not been easy. Like today, I had to eat on credit because we did not have cash. Two of my daughters delivered babies in the north but I could not send anything to them because I don’t have cash. What we get, we just use it to prepare food for our children and sometimes it doesn’t even go round but we just manage. Honestly, we want to rest. We went to bed on empty stomachs on Tuesday because we did not get anything out here. We are just praying that the president-elect will help us, we want to rest really. We hope that he would provide jobs and food for us,” she said.


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