News: Homeless children, beggars, street urchins take over Mokola Bridge in Ibadan (PHOTOS) - BLUE VOICE RADIO

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News: Homeless children, beggars, street urchins take over Mokola Bridge in Ibadan (PHOTOS)

News: Homeless children, beggars, street urchins take over Mokola Bridge in Ibadan (PHOTOS)

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“Ejowo efun mi lowo. (Please give me money). Egbon, efun mi lowo (Brother, give me money). Efun mi lowo ebi npami (Give me money, I am hungry).” ‎

These are some of the requests commuters who pass through areas such as Mokola-Roundabout, Bodija, State Secretariat, Ojoo, Sango, Ogunpa, Beere, Molete, Oke-Ado, Gate, Challenge, Dugbe, Ring Road, Total Garden, UCH and Yemetu among others face from both old, young men and women, who have resorted to begging in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

Though, the Oyo State government during the first term of Governor Abiola Ajimobi declared his zero tolerance to all acts that may hinder free flow of traffic in Ibadan, especially begging and street trading, but a visit to the above named areas had shown that beggars of all categories and street urchins have taken over larger part of the areas.‎

Investigation by DAILY POST revealed that the influx of beggars in the past gave birth to the reservation of some portion of Jemibewon Street (near Sabo), a densely populated area to beggars.‎

Findings by DAILY POST in most areas in Ibadan metropolis confirmed that hardly would an hour will pass without a beggar demanding for money or food in the name of being stranded or lacking food.

Some will claim to be having one ailment or the other and was in the need of money to purchase drugs or settle their hospital bill at UCH or Adeoyo.

These category of people are mostly found in places of worships, such as mosques and churches on Fridays and Sundays.

Another social problem Governor Abiola Ajimobi needs to address based on the investigations by DAILY POST is the increasing number of homeless children and teenagers who hustle for daily bread and now slept under the Mokola overhead bridge.

Several encounters with the children revealed that broken home was the major reason behind their plight.

These children usually claimed to hail from interior parts of Ibadan; Oopo-Yeosa, Beere, Oje, Orita-Merin, Oja-Oba, Mapo, Oke-Are, Inanlende, Oniyanrin and Yemetu.‎

There are also another category of able-bodied men and women, who are mostly found in social events and political gathering constituting nuisance. ‎

Chairman, Nigeria Association of Social Workers (NASOW), Oyo State chapter, Barrister Tayo Ayoade in a reply to a message sent to him by DAILY POST, disclosed that the menace of street begging, street urchins and other social vices was a reflection of the country’s social security policy and scheme.

Ayoade said, “The menace of street beggars and urchins is a reflection of the Country’s Social Security Policy and Scheme.

“While Poverty (both material and mental) which has been biting hard is one of the main causal factors, failure of those in position of authority to be proactive in thoughts and actions is also a causal factor.

“All these are compounded by hydra headed monster called corruption which is causing system failure”, he said.‎

Ayoade then charged government and other stakeholders to be proactive in the formulation of their polices.

“Government should be proactive in policy formation and implementation, pparticularly in the area of Socioeconomic Development and Fighting Corruption.

“The Political Will to run a Government with human face is also required, while masses should go back to the age long African tradition of being our brother’s keeper.”‎‎

A chieftain of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who spoke on condition of anonymity blamed the Ajimobi administration for embarking on projects and programs that does not have direct impact on the people.

The PDP stalwart while decrying the menace of street begging and the homeless children who have turned Mokola Bridge to their abode, challenged the Governor to tell the people what his social welfare program is all about.

He also challenged the administration to show the people of the state how much it realized from the recently launched Health and Education trust funds and what it has used the money realized for.

However, efforts made since Monday to get reactions of Oyo State government on what they are doing to arrest the situation have proved abortive.

Commissioner for Women Affairs, Community Development, Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Atinuke Osunkoya when called on Wednesday to speak, however, declared that she was busy with the Oyo State Officials’ Wives’ Association (OYSOWA) conference.

Messages sent to her on Thursday and Friday by DAILY POST to speak on the matter are yet to be reply as of the time of filling this report on Saturday.


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