Like bees, beggars have swarmed cities in Anambra State, including Awka, the capital. The streets are congested with these beggars said to be numbering over 10, 000. They comprise corporate beggars, child beggars; graduate beggars, civil servant beggars, business beggars, lepers, cripples and paupers who beg for living on the streets. They position themselves in public places where sympathisers will see them and give them money or food. Following these, the leadership of Governor Willie Obiano has extended its philanthropic gesture to beggars and mentally deranged persons in Anambra state.
Recall that the state had last year picked up quite a large number of psychological imbalanced persons who sleep on streets and gutters in the state, but along the way stopped for a reason best known to the state. Reports have it that the state has commenced, as scores of beggars and mentally ill people have been picked up at Onitsha, through a joint task force led by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Children and Women Affairs.
The apprehended beggars, operating at both Onitsha Main Market and Upper Iweka, were mostly women, presumed to be using ‘hired’ children to carry out their businesses. The raid is part of the initiatives of the Anambra Government to get rid of beggars and mentally sick persons on the streets. They were taken to the Nteje Rehabilitation Center for treatment.
This is not the first time such level of cleanup has occurred. As mentioned above, in October 2018, in compliance with the directive of the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, to rid the streets of Anambra of mentally ill persons, the Commissioner For Children and Women Affairs, Lady Ndidi Mezue, had participated in the raid that netted a number of mentally challenged individuals, who were picked up and relocated to Nteje Home for mentality challenged persons.
One of the mentally challenged persons was tracked from the popular Unizik junction Awka,to Amawbia, before the team were able to apprehend him. From the information gathered from the man who is in his early twenties, he is from Edo State. The subsequent raid that was carried out under the Aroma flyover, Awka, netted an elderly mentally challenged woman, who explained that she is from Lagos State, and was dropped off in Anambra by her uncle. Surprisingly, a search that was carried out on the woman’s luggage, revealed some bundles of Naira notes in different denominations suspected to be proceeds from begging activities.