Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) on Thursday accused the Kwara Government of nonchalant attitude to the continued brazen dumping of destitute and lunatics from neighbouring states.
The State Chairman of CPC, Suleiman Buhari, in a statement alleged that beggars and lunatics were being smuggled from neighbour states. Buhari alleged that an independent investigation by the party revealed that truckloads of these destitute were being surreptitiously offloaded from Eyenkorin-Geri Alimi axis of Ilorin, the state capital.
The chairman said: “CPC calls on the PDP-led government to rise up to the occasion and save the social fabrics of the state from being distorted by the destitute.’’ He urged the government to take the party’s genuine alarm as an innocent intervention and not wish it away as “inconsequential and alarmist of an opposition party”.
In a swift reaction, the Kwara government said that it was not true that destitute and beggars from neighbouring states were being dumped in Ilorin.
Tunji Moronfoye, the Commissioner for Information, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the CPC was looking for relevance in the state by making such allegation.
The commissioner said that the state government had embarked on the rehabilitation of beggars and destitute roaming the streets of Ilorin and its environs. He said that such beggars and destitute were regularly taken to a rehabilitation home managed by the ministry of social development and tourism where they were taught different trades and vocations.
The commissioner said that government, through the ministry usually assisted them to start their businesses after their training at the rehabilitation home. Moronfoye was of the view that CPC in the state was seeking relevance at all cost, particularly as local government election would be held this year.
He described the influx of foreign nationals into the country illegally as a national problem and not that of Kwara. The commissioner remarked that if the nation’s borders were porous, that did not make Kwara liable to the influx of any illegal immigrant.
Speaking in the same vein, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Abdulwahab Oba said that it was totally false that beggars and destitute were dumped at Garin Alimi, Ilorin.
Mr. Oba said he did not want to join issues with the CPC as its allegation was not only false, but mischievous and calculated to get the attention of the people.
In his reaction, the Commissioner for Social Development, Culture and Tourism, Samuel Bamisaye said that the beggars had been evacuated in some areas in Ilorin metropolis.
Mr. Bamisaye stressed that there was a monitoring team doing daily patrol to pick the street beggars and lunatics.
The monitoring team is picking any beggars and lunatics within Ilorin and we are taking the lunatics to trado-psychiatric home for treatment.
“The beggars that have addresses were taking to their family member while those that came from neighboring states were sent back.
“The monitoring team had been doing this since August 2012 and it is a continuous process till we evacuate them within Ilorin metropolis.
Mr. Bamisaye said aliens were being evacuated in Kwara because of the Boko Haram crisis.
He explained that the Kwara State Law of 2006 enacted by the House of Assembly prohibited street begging.