What is Taxing? Last week Thursday, at about 5pm, I was in my mum’s store when my neighbor came in, with a lady behind him. After attending to him; for he had only come to exchange 1000 naira for a fewer denominations, he called me to the back of the shop, and asked the girl to sit on a stool. The lady as I suppose should not be more than 18, she was a dark figure with a mark clearly that of a disciplinary stick on her face, she was wearing a sleeveless shirt (blouse) and a tight, short crazy jean trousers. She also had stretch marks all over her knees and thighs as I did see them all clearly. Even though she had a dark iris covered with a garment white cloud which as it is believed to connote innocence, my first impression was that she’d be a thief. She wasn’t caught thieving; a thief is not a thief until caught in the act. Her offence was far worse, she was taxing.
As the elderly man narrated; ‘this girl was at my wife’s shop last week, she came to meet me to ask for money to get back home, she claimed she did not have my money on her to take her from Otta to Agege, I pitifully handed her some bank notes. This evening, as I was receiving fresh air under the tree, this same girl stopped by, narrating the same story as lastweek. I quickly recognized her, but she couldn’t until as I spoke. She said she is a Muslim (Blessing she claimed she was) and that is why I have brought her to you. Talk to this girl as a Muslim brother, this is a shameful act she is in. lying at this her tender age, claiming what would never happen to her’. I sighed heavily.
Taxing, as it is called, is very rampant in our society today. Go to motor parks you find people with the same story for five years, I was en route Lagos from Ilorin and I met this woman I saw three years ago saying her two sons are in the hospital and need money for treatment, one would wonder the forces behind such predicament. Our streets are populated with lazy hands, beggars, people who are neither disabled nor handicapped, but are physically fit and professionals in telling some saddening stories that pitifully lure hands into the pocket.
They are beginning to contaminate the youths in the street, making them defenseless and open to Hazards and misfortunes. When I asked Blessing what she does with the money, she said she would spend whatever income she had in the evening with her friends. I shook my head in despair, such a vision less youngster. We should know that, there are a number of them outside there, cursing their families’ death and signing their warrants also.
They have made it impossible to help the ones in dire need and assistance. it’s almost impossible to distinguish between true and tax, but they do not know what harm they are open to; When they troop out to beg at parks, streets, they act as agents for the spread of contagious diseases. They are soft targets to planned terrorists attack, they in danger as they can be kidnapped without any of their family member’s knowing. Like the old man said; ‘if I were to be a bad man, I’ll rape you; if I were to be a ritualist, I’ll use you for rituals, you really don’t know what danger you are in’.
Let us as parents; guardians, educate our kids to cherish whatever they have. Let them know the dangers in this marketplace called world. Prevention they say is better than cure.