Governor Sanwo-Olu evacuate more than fifty beggars and vow to eradicate street beggars in Lagos.

The Lagos State Government under the current administration of Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has vowed to eliminate street begging anywhere in the state.

At least 50 street beggars were taken off the streets in a special operation led by the Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Mobolaji Ogunlende.

The “special rescue operation” was organized by the ministry in collaboration with the Lagos State Task Force to cleanse the state of street beggars in the Lekki axis on Thursday, November 16, 2023

‘Begging and using babies to ask for alms is not part of our religion or culture. It does not contribute to the socio-economic growth of any state. Some of the so-called beggars are criminals and are counterproductive,” Ogunlende said.

According to Ogunlende, prior to the revival of the “special rescue operation,” a massive advocacy and sensitization of Lagosians, especially the public-spirited, to know what they should do to help the less fortunate in the state, with the main objective of enforcing the relevant provisions of the state government laws and the Child Rights Act The project was implemented.

‘Street begging is banned in Kano, Kaduna, and other states in Nigeria. So why not in Lagos State? We advise those who want to help the less fortunate to take their gifts, whether cash or supplies, to our homes and centers designated to help the less fortunate,” Ogunlende added.

Commenting on this “special rescue operation,” Undersecretary Toyin Oke Osanintolu said the ministry decided to embark on it after a series of reports received by the ministry from Lagosians who complained of incessant harassment by street beggars.

He said, “All Lagosians, regardless of religion or tribe, should be able to live, work, and do business in a safe environment without being molested. We will achieve this by showing tolerance for street beggars,” Oke Osanintle said.

The secretary warned those who are in the habit of using babies to ask for alms to stop the practice and engage in legitimate businesses

Shola Jejeloye, CSP, who chaired the Lagos State Task Force and led the special rescue operation, said, “Eliminating street begging from Lagos State is a non-negotiable task. This is an ongoing activity

We decided to do this in broad daylight to send a message to the people of Lagos that street begging will not be tolerated in Lagos.” It is part of our legal responsibility to assist in the enforcement of the laws enacted by the state legislature. We are ready to cooperate with all ministries and departments in this regard.

In a rescue operation in the Lekki area, more than 50 beggars were taken off the streets.”

In a similar move, Lagos State legislators have initiated proceedings to outlaw street begging throughout the state.

If passed, this law will also punish the encouragement of street begging by residents. This will make it a crime to give money to street beggars

During Tuesday’s plenary session, Speaker of the House of Representatives Mudasir Obasa said street beggars are a threat to the state, agreeing with the lawmakers that criminal groups are taking over the streets under the guise of beggars.

Responding to a motion filed by Abiodun Orekoya and several of his colleagues, Rep. Obasa noted that the previous administration in the state had attempted to curb street begging without success. Thus, the speaker stressed the need for laws that criminalize street begging and punish individuals who give money to street beggars.

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