OYSG To Prosecute Able Body Person Found Begging In The State

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By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan.
Oyo state Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Mr Isaac Ishola has said the state government is to start prosecuting able bodied person found begging in the state.
The Commissioner stated this while responding to questions from members of the Oyo State House of Assembly on the influx of beggars into the state.
He declared that the state government is set to constitute an environmental tribunal for the prosecution of able persons who took to begging as an occupation.
According to Mr Ishola, “with the constitution of the environmental tribunal,once we arrest such persons and confirm such person not to be a destitute or beggar, we charge such person to court and they will be dealt with accordingly”.
The Commissioner noted that the state government is presently trying to avoid inter-tribal crisis which may arise from its sending away beggars mostly from the Northern part of the country out of Oyo state.
“The government has started strong action against the issue of begging in the state. Initially, we thought that the beggars were just Northerners. We have held two meetings with the northerners with a view to asking them to leave the streets. Mr Ishola pointed out that the state government was being strategic in sending the beggars packing from the state so as to avoid inter-tribal crisis,”he said.
According to the Commissioner, rather than evacuating the beggars from the state, the government was planning to create “a destitute centre where beggars could be relocated to”.
“We may be accused of sending away northerners from the state. What we want to do is create a destitute centre for them such that when we arrest them, we can relocate them to such centre. However, we have some of them that can be referred to as real economic beggars. They are able and only do not want to work.”
He maintained that the state government has created a space for them at Jemibewon area of Ibadan, where anyone who wants to offer them assistance can meet them, saying,“ during the day, you hardly find the beggars under the Mokola Bridge, but once it is evening, they return there”.
“We also have some people who probably due to the economic recession are well-dressed, but are actually beggars, usually known as “fine bara”. So, it is difficult to identify those kinds of persons.”

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