By Sola Kolawole Onikoyi
Over the last few months, there has been a steady rise is the number of street beggers loitering major axis of Ibadan the Oyo State Capital.
In what appears like an invasion of some sought, it is now common sight along Challenge, Eleyele, Gate, Iwo Road, Mokola, Sango, Bodija, Dubge and Akobo axis of the city to see hordes of beggers and street urchins harassing pedestrians.
The most sensitive aspect of this latest trend is the obvious fact that majority of these beggars are from a particular section of the country.
Apart from posing a threat to the lives of residents, especially in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, this situation cannot be disconnected from the recent increase in the spate of robbery incidences which is gradually becoming unprecedented in the State Capital in spite of the curfew imposed by the State Government.
These street beggars can also exacerbate the community transmission of COVID-19 and other communicable diseases if not checked and taken off the streets.
On some major roads across the city, these legion of street beggars and urchins have now constituted themselves into a traffic nightmare. This is more visible especially around markets and motor parks in broad daylight.
There is a need for the relevant State Agencies assigned with the responsibility of addressing such situations to rise to the occasion.
If these kids cannot be in school or stay at home at this period, there is no justification for them to be roaming the streets constituting nuisance to the general public.
The State Ministries of Environment and that Women Affairs and Social Development have a duty to bring this situation under control and rid the State of this latent menace before it degenerates further.
Sola Kolawole Onikoyi is an agriculturist and public affairs analyst from Ikoyi-Ile, Oyo State