Oyo govt promises better life for beggars, destitute



By David Adeoye

Oyo State Government has promised to rehabilitate all destitute and beggars and the mentally ill people evacuated from the streets of major towns in the state.

Alhaja Kafilat Olayiwola, the state Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, made the promise in Ibadan on Friday during the evacuation in Ibadan, the state capital.

Olayiwola said: “The state government is determined to rid the streets of destitute, beggars and mentally challenged people and keep them in a rehabilitation centre.

“The exercise is to ensure that the lives of the evacuees and that of the general public are safe and secured.

“Their presence in the society poses danger, as some of them can be agents for criminals.

“So, we are going to profile them and engage some in skill acquisition programmes aim at enhancing individual’s capacity to build a better life.

“Those with mental health challenges will be moved to psychiatric section at the Adeoyo State Hospital, Ibadan, for medical attention.”

The commissioner said that the state government had taken a stance on the increasing numbers of destitute and beggars swarming around major areas, such as Mokola, Iwo Road, New Gbagi Market and Ojoo in the state capital.

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She said the exercise would be a continuous one, noting that all evacuees would be adequately catered for.

Also, Mr Ademola Aderinto, the Special Adviser on Environment to Gov. Seyi Makinde, said that destitute, beggars and mentally ill people were constituting environmental hazards on the streets and at strategic locations in the state.

Aderinto said the state government, through the Ministry of Environment, in partnership with the Women Affairs and Social Inclusion Ministry, were intensifying efforts to address the menace.

He reiterated that all the evacuees would be adequately taken care and treated at the rehabilitation centre, and thereafter engage them in what would add value to their lives.

Meanwhile, a cross-section of Ibadan residents commended the state government for evacuating the destitute and beggars.

Commenting, Mrs Arinola Adedeji, a trader at Iwo Road, urged the state government to make the evacuation exercise a routine one to discourage begging.

Adedeji also appealed to the government not to allow the evacuees to escape from the rehabilitation centre.

Another trader at Mokola Roundabout, Mr Jude Oraka, urged the state government to make the rehabilitation centre conducive for the evacuees so that they would not leave the place.

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