Osun - Social workers in Osun have arrested no fewer than 17 beggars, including the mentally ill, in the last one week in an exercise to get them off the streets, a government official, Mr Biyi Odunlade, said in Osogbo on Thursday.
Odunlade, who is the Special Adviser to the Governor on Youths, Sports and Special Needs said that the exercise became necessary because of the increasing number of beggars in Osogbo.
The categories of beggars include, destitute, the mentally ill, jobless youths, the elderly, especially hapless women and miscreants who take delight in beggary.
Odunlade, who expressed dissatisfaction with the ugly development, said the state government had resolved to rid the streets of beggars by rehabilitating and resettling them.
He said that government could not just chase off the lowly people from the streets without providing alternative means of livelihood hence the need to tread softly.
``We are not in a hurry to carry out this exercise because of the need to put adequate measures in place such as where we can put them till they relocate to join their families.
``This is why we have started to prepare temporary rehabilitation centres known as traffic camps. We now have one in Ilobu where those arrested are kept and fed.
``From there, we help to trace their families. For instance, we took a woman, one of the 17 beggars with us to Bauchi, her home state on Tuesday.
On the mentally ill, Odunlade said the state government was partnering with the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital (LAUTECH-TH) for medical attention.