Destitutes, Beggers Have Returned To The Streets, Govt Soon To Repatriate Them Back Home – Oyo Govt
By Henry Odeh
One of the returning Commissioners in Oyo state, Alhaja Fausat Sanni, has said that the state government is already considering repatriation of destitutes and beggers of other states in Oyo to their various home states as part of deliberate efforts to create a conducive and secured environment for its residents.
The returning Commissioner made the disclosure while fielding questions from Oyo Assembly lawmakers on Thursday August 5 during the screening of the 7 returning Commissioners at the plenary sitting of the House.
The returning Commissioners and their designations are: Bayo Lawal (Local Government and Chieftaincy Matter), Ayansiju Lawal (Establishment and Training), Fausat Sanni (Women Affairs and Social Inclusion), Akinola Ojo (Finance), Temilolu Ashamu (Energy and Natural Resources), Daud Sangodoyin (Public Works), and Oyelowo Oyewo (Justice).
Sunrisebulletin gathered that the state government had earlier at separate intervals in June and July relocated destitutes, beggars, and other street orchines from the streets to Akinyele Rescue Centre with modern facilities including toilets and bathroom, health and medical facilities, as well as food providers to cater for their wellbeing.
It was further gathered that barely 7 days after they were successfully relocated to the new facility created by government of Oyo state, many of the destitute and beggars returned to the streets to continue begging.
According to a statement by the Governor through his Chief Press Secretary, Taiwo Adisa, the resettlement process which started months ago formally commenced on Tuesday morning, following a tour of the new site by the Arewa Community leaders and representatives of the beggars.
Participating Ministries in the resettlement process include Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, Information, Culture and Tourism, Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, as well as Office of the Executive Secretary–Oyo State Security Trust Fund.
The state again, in July evacuate and relocated another set of destitutes and mentally ill persons from Mokola, Jenbewon, Challenge, Sango, Orita-UI, and Ojoo areas of the state capital.
The exercise which was third of its kind in a series of evacuation process was carried out by the Ministry of Environment in collaboration with the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Inclusion.
Reacting to some of the questions from the lawmakers on Thursday during the legislative screening of the returning Commissioners, Alhaja Fausat Sanni who was nominated to return as Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, the office she held until the dissolution of cabinet by Governor Makinde, said that a proposal is already being presented for the Governor’s approval.
The proposal for relocation of the destitutes and beggars according to Sanni is to the effect of a discovery by government that the beggars and destitutes were making economic gains from their begging activities and are accountable to their Serikis at various quarters who expect certain financial returns from them at the end of the day.
She stated that the state government will proceed to the repatriate the destitute of those from Other states of Origin other than Oyo state to their various home states when approved by the Governor stressing that Oyo state government has done its best to expend public funds to provide modern facilities with social amenities that cater for the wellbeing of the destitutes.
“The destitutes, the beggars, recently evacuated from the streets, taken to Akinyele Rescue Centre are now back to the streets. Thank you so much I expect that, it is an observation.
“When Akinyele resettlement centre was under construction we were there on a couple of times with His Excellency, two other serving Commissioners then, and we observed that the place was a little porous.
“So, we were working with the local government that the other areas, they should help to erect the fence and we are still on that. When we took the destitutes, first we were attacked though we dialogued with the Community especially Hausa Community in Sabo.
“And after the third day they were taken there, some of them were already back, we thank God because it was not at that particular location, we know that at that particular location, they were harbouring quite a number of criminals and that was our main target, and we were able to do that.
“The following week, exactly after one week, we went back to the streets to do evacuation, and in what we were doing, we were recording and taking their bio-data, there are about three Ministries involved, though the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Inclusion led the group including security outfits.
“When they were taken there, they were being fed and other people that were there with us but our major problem is that those people that you see on the streets, they have their Serikis, they have their supporters, they deliver dividends to these people on a daily basis.
“This is actually our findings before then. Our proposal is before His Excellency, and what we are proposing to put a stop to this is total repatriation because the state has done its best.
“During COVID-19 pandemic, many states even in the Northern region, they were taking the destitutes, the beggars from their states, returning them to their home states.
“His Excellency was magnanimous, when the proposal came from me even before then that we should do the same, they said we don’t want to people to give it any political coloration, yes! we agreed but people are taking undue advantage by making our state because of our humanitarian nature to come and dump destitutes, beggars and all sorts of people that are not fit in the streets of Ibadan and anywhere in Oyo state.
“Like I said, what we are doing is to make sure that they are repatriated back to their states and those that are from Oyo State are taken care of. One, we have done that, we have relocated many people, we have reunite a lot of families.
“We know that the problem is still on but we are going to tackle it headlong,” Alhaja Sanni said.
The House however, after listening to the submissions and reactions of all the Commissioner nominees agreed with Governor Makinde as to their suitability and therefore, approved of their nominations and subsequently confirmed them as Commissioner-Designates.