Aug. 8, 2013
AMID growing controversy over the evacuation of some non-Lagosians from Lagos State to states of their origin, Osun State government, on Wednesday, received 46 destitues evacuated from Lagos State.
Receiving the destitue at the National Youth Development Centre, Ode-Omu, on Wednesday, the Special Adviser to Governor Rauf Aregbesola, on Youths, Sports and Special Needs, Honourable Biyi Odunlade, said the state government welcomed the request of the Lagos State government to evacuate the affected people, because “we are responsible.”
He hinted that over 100 destitutes had been repatriated to Osun from Lagos, Oyo and other places since the current administration came on board, adding “we were invited by Lagos State to come and pick our brothers and sisters, who are destitutes and 46 persons were brought, out of which we discovered that just 26 were actually indigenes of the state, comprising 19 men, five women and two children, who were from different local governments in the state.
According to Odunlade, “it is our responsibility to take the matter up, as the governor believes in quick and responsive government; that is why the state government insisted that anytime Lagos invites us for their evacuation, we should respond in good time.
“However, it is unfortunate that most states did not respond to the exercise, which is not good enough, because these people are part of us; we have their relations with us here.”
Odunlade attributed the present harsh situation in the country to the increasing number of destitute in the country, observing that most of them were abandoned by their parents and relations due to their health issues.
He stated that the Osun State government was ready to take good care of the received destitute, both medically and mentally, in order for them to live normal lives and later reunite with their families.
While noting that Osun State government does not discriminate in rehabilitation of the destitute, Odunlade, however, maintained that the government would not tolerate street-begging, saying “we have started handling their cases and would not relent until they get better.”
Concerning the two children, Odunlade disclosed that the Department of Youth and Social Welfare would take care of them.
Giving a statistical breakdown of the destitute brought back to the state, Odunlade, said on April 27, 2010, 47 beggars and destitutes were returned from Lagos to Osogbo. On October 4, 2010, 13 persons were again brought form Lagos and reunited with their relations in the state.