The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) on Sunday repatriated 217 destitutes, street beggars and vagabonds, evacuated from the streets of the Federal Capital City, Abuja.
Sani Amar-Rabe, Director, Department, Social Welfare Services, Social Development Secretariat (SDS) of the FCTA, made the disclosure in an interview at the FCT Vocational and Rehabilitation Centre in Bwari Area Council.
The director spoke shortly after dispatching officials of the department to transport the destitutes and beggars to their various states.
He explained that the repatriation was in compliance with the order by the FCT Minister of State, Ramatu Aliyu, and the Permanent Secretary, FCTA, Olusade Adesola, who instructed the department of social welfare services to rid the city of human and environmental nuisances.
He stated that it was the responsibility of the FCTA to ensure that those evacuated from the streets were repatriated to their various states.
“We are here in respect of repatriation of the apprehended destitutes, street baggers, street boys and vagabonds who were profiled, their health challenges were equally attended to and they show no interest in learning vocational skills.
“They only show interest to be out to be attended to what they consider to be a liberty sort of, to continue doing their destitution.
“But those who have a good mindset, embrace skills acquisition for empowerment. So, that is the purpose of our coming to this centre today.
“Today we don’t have many; they are just 217 beggars and street boys that are to be repatriated, mostly to Katsina, Kaduna, Niger, Jigawa, Kano, Zamfara, Sokoto and Kebbi states.
“And this time around we have some from Abia, Imo and Delta states.”
Mr Amar-Rabe revealed that the FCT Minister of State, Ms Aliyu, had been in contact with some of the state governments through their Liaison Offices, to ensure that the affected states were more responsive in addressing and managing the repatriated destitutes and beggars.
“What we noticed from some of the destitutes and baggers as well is that they consider the FCT safer and economically viable, especially those of the North-West and the North-East.
“So people from these zones move to Abuja for survival and some of them, we discovered that begging and destitution has become an attitude to them.
“The street boys that constitute menace and defaced the Federal Capital City, some of whom at a particular point in time, manifest into another threat to the security of the residents especially those that do sleep under bridges claiming to be destitutes but most of them are criminals.”
The director called on the FCT residents, especially the well to do, to desist from giving alms and charity to the street beggars “because it is encouraging them to continue to remain on the streets and constitute nuisance to the city.”
“We have been on that advocacy through different media and we are appealing to the media both print and electronics, to continue to enlighten the public about the negative impact of patronising street beggars.
“We have clusters of Persons with Disabilities in KaronMajigi Community on the airport road and we have many orphanages, anybody who wishes to donate can go to such places and give charity.
“Also, in Yangoji, Kwali Area Council, by the roadside, there is Alheri Special Village, the village is mainly for persons affected with leprosy and their family.
“It is a very large cluster with a very large population of humans who are indigent and deserve such charity.”
Bala Dantsoho, the Principal, FCT Vocational and Rehabilitation Centre, Bwari, said most of those that were repatriated are untrainable. Therefore, they have to be repatriated to their various states.
Mr Dantsoho, who decried the proliferation of street baggers and destitutes in the FCT, urged state governments to be more proactive in tackling destitution.