FCTA evacuates 150 beggars, intensifies clampdown on street begging

Our Correspondent

Daily Courier – In a bid to rid the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of street begging, the Administration has evacuated 150 beggars and destitute from the major streets of Abuja, for constituting nuisance and disturbing the peace of the city.

The beggars, who were mainly women, children, and old men, were evacuated at the weekend, by officials of the Social Development Secretariat (SDS) in collaboration with the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), Directorate of Road Traffic Services, FCT Security Department and office of the Senior Special Assistant to the FCT Minister on Monitoring, Inspection, and Enforcement.

The team picked up the beggars from streets that host shopping malls, supermarkets, mosques, and other notorious spots for alms begging within Maitama, Wuse II,Garki, and other areas of the city.

After profiling them, they were later given Iftar meals to break their Ramadan fast in the evening, by the FCT Administration.

The Secretary of Social Development Secretariat (SDS), Hadiza Kabir, who revealed that the FCTA was targeting to evacuate between 400 to 1,000 beggars from the city, said the FCT Minister of State, Ramatu Aliyu, had embarked on removing beggars from the streets and cleaning the environs of Abuja.

She added that by the time they finished evacuating beggars and camping them in some of the FCTA centres for proper documentation, the Minister will liaise with all the governors of their states of origin, and thereafter, they will be repatriated back to their respective states.

“As you are seeing today, the Minister has just sent a strong and sound warning through me as the leader of this team to them that they should go off the streets because we are coming out massively for them.

“The minister has already sent them food and drinks to eat and break fast in the evening, but we are coming for them if they don’t leave the streets and stop begging on the streets of Abuja,” she said.

The secretary also announced a ministerial pardon by the Minister of State for those evacuated during the weekend with a strong warning that they should not return to the streets.

Similarly, the Senior Special Assistant to FCT Minister, on Monitoring, Inspection, and Enforcement, Ikharo Attah, noted that what the FCTA did was to evacuate the beggars from the streets and take them to a safe place, profile them and ensure that they are well catered for and subsequently repatriated.

“During the month of Ramadan where most Muslim brothers and sisters are devoting themselves to the service of Almighty Allah, we saw excessive beggars who from across the country flooding into FCT, so we had to move them off the streets, sensitive areas where they gather in large numbers to beg for alms, and in the process, they disturb people, and the complaints came in, and we moved in and cleared them in a friendly manner that most of them very happy about.

 

“We are promising that we will take

them back to their respective states, so that they would leave the streets. But with the pardon by the Honourable Minister of State, it is now left for them to vacate the streets,” he stated.