In a proactive move to restore societal values and enhance environmental hygiene, the Kwara State Ministry of Social Development has successfully evacuated 88 mentally challenged persons and beggars from the streets of Ilorin.
Commissioner Opeyemi Afolashade, speaking at a press briefing in Ilorin, highlighted the ministry’s week-long operation targeting key areas like Post Office/Taiwo-Isale, Tipper garage, Challenge/Unity road, and Challenge/GRA axis. This evacuation, conducted between November 24 and 30, aimed to rid the streets of these societal challenges.
Emphasizing the ministry’s commitment to cleansing society of such menaces, Commissioner Afolashade underlined the significance of upholding societal values and promoting environmental cleanliness within the state.
The evacuated individuals have been relocated to one of the ministry’s rehabilitation homes, where they will receive necessary treatment, possible legal actions, and potential opportunities for repatriation.
Expressing her disdain for street begging, Commissioner Afolashade condemned the act as socially unacceptable and against the state’s laws.
Dr. Suleiman Afeez Tosin, public policy and social analyst weighed in on the issue, acknowledging the varying perspectives on the root causes of street begging—some attributing it to poverty while others view it as a business opportunity for the beggars.
However, while speaking to Royal Times on Friday, Dr. Tosin stressed that merely driving them away is not a comprehensive solution.
“It’s not enough that the government drives them away. There should be plans to empower these individuals and other less privileged people in Nigeria if there’s a genuine desire for change,” he remarked. “I’m not criticizing the government’s effort to relocate them to a secluded area; I’m highlighting the need for sustainable solutions. The government should focus on establishing them to eradicate the culture of alms begging in Kwara.”