The Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has blamed the alarming increase of the population of destitute, beggars, lunatics and children roaming the streets of Benin City, on the collapse of government rehabilitation facilities due to official neglect and poor funding by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led PDP administration.
The State Chairman of the party, Col. Dr. David Imuse (rtd), in a statement signed by Victor Osehobo, the Assistant State Publicity Secretary of the APC, said the party has found that the menace, appear to have witnessed an upsurge with the absence of a functional Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development.
Besides, Imuse argued that another factor is the failure on the part of the Obaseki government to articulate a realistic policy necessary to regularly rid the streets of such deranged people who apart from being innocent nuisance by soliciting for alms, pose threat to public peace.
“The unending infighting in the PDP government led by Mr. Obaseki, which has deprived the state of a Cabinet of Civil Commissioners and Special Advisers, has not helped matters.
“Forget the claims by the government about its so-called benevolence to healthy citizens, even in the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, don’t these people also need government attention in the area of clothing, feeding and health care?
“Only a people-centred government knows that it has a duty to periodically organize a massive exercise to get these people off the Streets, or even realize that such moves would also help a great deal in strengthening the already precarious security situation in the state”, the statement said.
The APC Chairman, therefore, called on the Edo State government “to as a matter of priority remove these people from the streets, by providing adequate funds for the rehabilitation centres to give them needed care and rehabilitation after which they can be released to their relations”.