Authorities of the Federal Capital Territory Abuja have sent 150 street beggars out of the city over what it described as a ‘disturbance to the peace and serenity of the city.’
Another batch of 1000 beggars are expected to leave the city.
The move is part of the strategies designed to clamp down on street begging in the nation’s capital after complaints were received in lieu of the menace.
It was observed that the team picked up the beggars from streets hosting shopping malls, supermarkets 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 an Iftar meal to break their Ramadan fast in the evening.
The Secretary, Social Development Secretariat (SDS), Hadiza Mohammed Kabir, who revealed that the FCTA is targeting to evacuate between 400 to 1,000 beggars from the city, said the FCT minister of state had embarked on removing beggars from the streets and cleaning the environs of Abuja.
She said after the exercise, the minister would liaise with all the governors of their states of origin, and thereafter, they would be returned 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 their fast in the evening, but we are coming for them if they don’t leave the streets,’’ the secretary reaffirmed.
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.