The Government of Oyo State has given reasons for evacuating beggars, street-urchins and the destitute to the new facility at Akinyele Resettlement Centre, Ibadan.
Alhaja Faosat Sanni, Oyo State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, while speaking with journalists at the premises of the new location, stated that the relocation was to ensure that they are catered for.
The ministry, before now, had been sensitising those involved on the activities of the government concerning the relocation and that it did not just take a sudden decision to move them away, she said.
A statement by the Mr. Taiwo Adisa, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, indicated that the commissioner assured that adequate care will be given to the evacuees at the new facility, which, according to her, is more habitable and conducive.
She added that the government will not just dump them at the centre and make them suffer, explaining that kitchens, cooks, foodstuffs, mattresses, mats, toilets, washing places and other household materials available in average Nigerian homes are at the centre to aid their living.
This effort, as you can see, has been going on for some time. It is not just as if we went to where you saw us this morning at Sabo and bumped into the people. We have met several times with the Hausa community. Our last meeting was last Friday and we were with them up till about 8 p.m., to sensitize them on the activities of the government concerning the relocation of the destitute, beggars and street urchins in Oyo State.
This is because whether we like it or not, we know that some of the people that are being relocated are headstrong people. Even as you can see this morning, there was a resistance that they don’t want to leave the premises. And as you can see this new place, a lot of efforts have been put into it. So, we tried to talk to them before they agreed to come in.
Quite frankly, many of them have packed their things, especially the women. They wanted to come out voluntarily but it took us some time to convince some people among them, especially the leaders of the beggars there, who were proving adamant.
Four commissioners and quite a number of government functionaries were there, but we had to talk to them that the government is planning for their well-being.
We are not just going to dump these people somewhere and make them suffer. As you all can see, the facility provided here is far better than where they are. So, that is what the government is doing.
Again, you can see the officials of the Ministry of Women Affairs and Ministry of Environment are here. We have started taking their profiles, that is their bio-data: names, age, and where they came from, because some of them are not Nigerians. And what we intend to do is to accommodate them as best as we can, take care of them, do the best of the profiling we can do, to ascertain where they are from. And if they are ready, we are going to assist them to go back to their states of origin.