Oyo state government on Thursday October 10, 2019 commenced the evacuation of street children, beggars and mentally-ill persons off the streets of Ibadan, in commemoration of the World Mental Health Day.
During the evacuation exercise led by the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, Alhaja Faosat Saani, 48 people comprising children, beggars and mentally derailed persons were picked up at Mokola Roundabout and taken to rehabilitation centres for proper care.
Speaking with the newsmen after the exercise, Saani said the evacuation was necessary to make a better living for the concerned individuals as the destitute and those with mental health issues would be taken to rehabilitation centres while children would be taken back to school.
According to her, “The raid was meant to clear the streets of street children, beggars, mentally derailed persons, who have become an 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 number of destitute in the state and it is quiet alarming. We can give attention to them at the appropriate places instead of them constituting something unpleasant to the major roads and public places. You can see that there are children of school age being used to beg for alms by their 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 students are supposed to be in school, but they preferred to use them to beg, even when government has provided free education and free books”.
“For those apprehended, we will take their proper documentation and move them to rehabilitation homes where government would be responsible for their upkeep because we are particular about their welfare. We will also take them to hospitals for medical care”, she added
Saani assured that the raid would be a continuous exercise that would extend to every community in the state.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Dr. Bashir Olanrewaju representing the Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Hon. Kehinde Ayoola said the exercise was done to ensure cleanliness of the cities as well as to improve security as there were evidences that some of the destitute harbored dangerous weapons being used by criminals in the wee hours.