As Oyo State government evacuated some beggars, mentally ill persons within the Ibadan metropolis today, some residents of Ibadan have urged concerned authorities to make the evacuation a routine exercise, so as to discourage beggars from the act.
They also appealed to the state government not to allow those evacuees escape from the rehabilitation center.
Meanwhile, the state government has vowed that it will not rest on its oars until beggars and destitute are totally off the nooks and crannies of the state.
Alhaja Kafilat Olayiwola, the State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, stated this in Ibadan during the evacuation exercise.
According to Olayiwola, Oyo State government is determined to rid the streets off destitute, beggars and mentally challenged persons to rehabilitation center.
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 could be agents for criminals.
“So we are going to profile them, engage some of them in skill acquisition programmes aimed at enhancing the individual’s capacity to enable them build a better life”, she added.
The Commissioner said government had taken a tough stance on the increasing number of destitute and beggars swarming around major areas, such as Challenge–Orita–Ring Road–Molete – Odo Oba–Idi Arere–Bere–Oje Gate, Jembewon–Sabo–Mokola–Bodija–Eleyele–UI–Ojoo, Idi Ape–Iwo Rd–Academy–Monatan;Bashorun–Akobo Oju Rin, Alesinloye–Odo Ona-Apata in the state capital.
She added that the evacuation exercise would be a continuous one and that the well-being of all the evacuees would be adequately catered for.
Corroborating the views of the Commissioner, the Permanent Secretary, Mrs Grace Oderinde, noted that destitute, beggars and mentally ill persons were constituting environmental hazards on the streets and at strategic locations in the state.
Oderinde said the state government through the Ministry Women Affairs and Social Inclusion was intensifying efforts to address the menace.
She therefore assured that all the evacuees would be adequately taken care of and treated at the rehabilitation centre in Akinyele, Ibadan; after which they would be engaged in what would add value to their lives.