In furtherance of security measures currently being explored by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), the administration has repatriated over 170 beggars picked up in different parts of the city to their respective states of origin.
The repatriated beggars were taken in groups in different buses to states including Kaduna, Kano, Bauchi, Jigawa, Nasarawa, Kogi, Kwara, Plateau and Gombe.
Others were Enugu, Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Abia.
The administration has also warned any of the beggars nursing plans to return to the FCT to drop such plans, as they would be prosecuted if found.
The repatriation exercise was carried out by the Society Against Prostituion and Child Labour in Nigeria (SAP-CLN) in collaboration with the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) and the FCT Social Development Secretariat.
The repatriation exercise recorded the highest number since the exercise commenced a few months ago.
Coordinator of SAP-CLN, Mrs. Grace Adogo while addressing journalists at the FCT Rehabilitation Centre, Bwari, yesterday, explained that the repatriation became necessary, considering the prevailing security situation in the FCT.
“Because of the current security challenges in the FCT, the permanent secretary, Dr. Nathaniel Abiodun Olorunfemi, has directed us to rid the city of street begging and hawking, which contravenes Section 36 of the AEPB Act of 1997.
“The beggars, who are widely unknown and who do not have any identity, often flood traffic jams in the city carrying bags with unknown items. They even peep into people’s cars while begging for alms.”
In his remarks earlier, assistant director, destitution management, Social Development Secretariat, Mr. Oludare Atere, lamented that despite spirited efforts by the FCTA, the problem of begging was becoming a cancer in the FCT.
He however said the administration would not relent in its efforts and enjoined the beggars to seek alternative means of livelihood when they return to their states of origin.