Oyo evacuates homeless children, beggars, others

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Seyi Makinde

Oyo State Government on Thursday commenced the evacuation of street children, beggars and mentally-sick persons from the streets of the state capital, Ibadan, in commemoration of the World Mental Health Day.

The evacuation team, led by the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, Alhaja Faosat Sanni, visited Iwo road roundabout in Ibadan North Local Government Area and the Mokola roundabout, where 48 people, comprising children, beggars and mentally-deranged persons, were picked and taken to rehabilitation centres.

Speaking with the newsmen after the exercise, Sanni said, “The raid was meant to clear the city of street children, beggars, mentally-deranged persons who have become eyesore to the state and to give them necessary attention at the rehabilitation centres while the children will be registered in schools.

“Government noticed recently that there has been an increase in the number of the destitute in the state and it is quite alarming. We can give attention to them at the appropriate places instead of constituting something unpleasant on the major roads and public places.

“You can see that there are children of school age that were used to beg for alms by their own parents. We have said earlier that the present administration would not close its eyes to such and today, the exercise to clean our public places of such has started. These children are supposed to be in schools, but they preferred to use them to beg, even when government has provided free education and free books.”

Sanni said the raid would be a continuous exercise and would extend to every community in Oyo State.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Dr Bashir Olanrewaju, who represented the Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resourses, Kehinde Ayoola, said the exercise was carried out to ensure the cleanliness of the metropolis.