By MONSUR OLOWOOPEJO
In spite of the efforts of the Lagos State Government to end street begging in Lagos, more beggars troop into the state daily.
Last year, the state government faced fierce public outrage over what was termed ‘deportation ‘ of some Igbo indigenes to Onitsha, Anambra State.
Last Thursday, the state government continued its effort to rid the state of beggars. It picked up 2, 217 non-indigene beggars and destitutes from the streets and of this number, 458 were released to their relations, who are resident in Lagos.
The Special Adviser to Governor Babatunde Fashola on Youth & Social Development, Dr. Enitan Badru disclosed that the measure “is a continuous exercise.”
He said the aim was to rid the Lagos streets of beggars, destitutes and mentally challenged persons.
According to him, “The state government has handed over 458 persons to their relatives; 28 were handed over to the Child Protection Unit for further social investigation; 27 rescued from different locations in the state were transferred to the correctional centre and 53 are currently undergoing rehabilitation and training at the Rehabilitation and Vocational Training Centre.”
Badru said about 2,217 beggars and destitutes were rescued from the streets of Lagos “to rid the metropolis of their menace. In realization of state government’s policy on ridding the streets of Lagos of beggars and destitutes, who constitute social nuisance and realization of Lagos as a mega city.
“The Ministry of Sports and Youth Development embarked on aggressive rescue of beggars, mentally challenged and destitutes from the streets of Lagos and over –head bridges,” the special adviser said.
He said 1,412 of the destitutes and beggars were taken to the rehabilitation and training centre Owutu, Ikorodu where the government made provisions for facilities to help in turning their lives around.
The special adviser said 87 able –bodied persons suspected to be criminals were handed over to the taskforce for prosecution.