Oyo state government has commenced the evacuation of street children, beggars and mentally-sick persons off the streets of the State capital, Ibadan on Thursday in commemoration of the world Mental Health Day.
The evacuation exercise which was led by the Honorable Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, Alhaja Faosat Saani took a team which comprised of the Permanent Secretaries of the Ministry Mrs Christiana Abioye and his counterpart from Ministry of Environment & Natural resources, Dr Bashir Olanrewaju, Directors, and top officials in the ministries to Iwo road round about at Ibadan North Local government and under the bridge at Mokola roundabout, where 48 people, comprising children, beggars and mentally derailed persons were picked and taken to rehabilitation centers for proper care.
Speaking with the newsmen after the exercise , Alhaja 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 centers while children used to beg would be taken back to school..
“The raid was meant to clear the streets off street children, beggars, mentally derailed persons who had become an eyesore to the State and to give them necessary attention at the rehabilitation centers 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 for them to constitute something unpleasant to 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 parent. 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 suppose 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 documents and move them to rehabilitation homes where government would be responsible for their up keep because we are particular about their welfare and also take them to hospitals for medical care.”
Alhaja Saani assured that, the raid would be a continuous exercise that 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, Hon. Kehinde Ayoola said the exercise done to ensure cleanliness of the cities and metropolis, improve security as there were evidences that some of the destitues harbored dangerous weapons that were been used by criminals in the wee hours.
In the same vein, the Commissioner also paid a courtesy visit to the State Commandant of Nigeria Security Civil Defense Corps, Oyo State Command, Agodi, Commandant Iskilu Abiodun Akinsanya to appreciate the efforts and collaboration of the security outfit with the ministry by assisting on cases of abuse, molestation and all other vices through their Anti Human Trafficking department.
In his response, Commandant Iskilu Akinsanya pledged to do more, added that the society could only be better if children were properly trained.