120 beggars jailed, 1708 others ejected from Lagos

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LAGOS State government on Thursday said at least 120 beggars and destitute who are mainly from the Northern part of the country have been convicted and remanded in prison custody in the state.

It also disclosed that it has been able to send 1,708 beggars packing to their various states and countries.

Special Adviser to Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola on Youth and Social Development, Dr Dolapo Badru, made the disclosure while briefing newsmen at Alausa, Ikeja, just as he decried the various reactions from civil society organizations that had trailed the government’s clampdown on beggars in the state.

Badru, who noted that the Fashola administration respected the rights of persons living with disabilities, declared that the government would not bend the rule whenever any person or group ran afoul of the law.

Badru lamented that the beggars were always in the habit of pulling daggers on his men whenever they went about their duties.

“Nearly every day whenever my men go on enforcement, this same set of people draw up daggers and knives and maim my staff, they stab them, bite them and defecate on them just to evade arrest because they have broken the law and when such a person is taken to court to be convicted, a person sits down in his air conditioned office to rain abuses on us for doing what is right,” he lamented.

He said that some of those convicted and jailed posed as beggars in traffic situations to rob unsuspecting motorists of their valuables.

The governor’s aide vowed that the government would not stop to clamp down on violators of the law until the trend was nipped in the bud. Speaking further, Badru said the rehabilitation department of the office dealt with the issues of beggars and destitute in the state.

According to him, the step is in line with the state government’s policy of ridding the Lagos streets off beggars and destitute, saying the office had consistently embarked on an aggressive raid of beggars, mentally challenged and destitute from the streets, highways and over-head bridges in the state.

“In the last one year, a total number of 3,114 beggars, destitute and mentally challenged were rescued in day and night operations. 2,695 were taken to the Rehabilitation and Training Centre, Owutu, Ikorodu, where the state government has made provisions for facilities to help in turning the lives of the destitute, beggars around, while the mentally unstable are given medical attention.

In : Lagos

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