The Federal Capital Territory Administration on Sunday repatriated 217 destitute and street beggars among others evacuated from the streets of the FCT, Abuja.
The Director, Department of Social Welfare Services, Social Development Secretariat of the FCTA, Alhaji Sani Amar-Rabe, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria at the FCT Vocational and Rehabilitation Centre in Bwari Area Council.
The director spoke to NAN shortly after dispatching officials of the department to transport the destitute and beggars to their various states.
He explained that the repatriation complied with the order by the FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, and the Permanent Secretary, FCTA, Mr 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 are repatriated to their various states.
Amar-Rabe said, “We are here in respect of repatriation of the apprehended destitute, street beggars, street boys and vagabonds who were profiled, their health challenges were equally attended to and they showed no interest in learning vocational skills.
“They only showed interest to be out to be attended to what they considered to be a liberty sort of, to continue doing their destitution
“But those who have good mindset embraced 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.”
He revealed that the FCT Minister of State, 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 destitute and beggars.
He added, “What we noticed from some of the destitute and beggars as well is that they consider the FCT safer and economically viable, especially those from 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 have become attitudes 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 destitute but most of them are criminals.”
The director called on the FCT residents to desist from giving alms to street beggars “because it is encouraging them to continue to remain on the streets and constitute a nuisance to the city.”
The Principal, FCT Vocational and Rehabilitation Centre, Bwari, Bala Dantsoho, said most of those that were repatriated cannot be trained, therefore, they have to be repatriated to their various states.