Kwara Beggars Found with Weapons and Charms, Commissioner Laments

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Kwara State Commissioner for Works and Transport, AbdulQawawiy Olododo, revealed that over 10 lives were lost in various fire incidents across the state in 2023. Simultaneously, Commissioner for Social Development, Afolashade Opeyemi, raised concerns about beggars in the state being found with dangerous weapons, including guns, daggers, and charms.

The commissioners shared these updates on Monday during an inter-ministerial press briefing organized by the Ministry of Communications and Strategy, marking the one-year administration of Governor AbdulRaman AbdulRazaq’s second term.

Olododo highlighted that the state Fire Service saved property worth N18 billion within the past year. “The State Fire Service received 190 emergency calls and saved property worth over N18 billion from fire incidents, while the estimated value of property lost was N629 million. At least 10 lives were lost, although many victims were rescued alive,” he said. He credited these successes to prompt interventions and the purchase of modern firefighting equipment by the state government.

In terms of infrastructure, Olododo noted that 75 road projects had been completed, reducing travel times, with ongoing work on an additional 80 road projects across the state’s 16 local government areas.

Meanwhile, Opeyemi reported that the state government had removed beggars from the Ilorin metropolis, who were suspected of being armories for criminals. In the last year, 158 beggars were removed from the streets. She expressed shock at finding dangerous weapons among the beggars, questioning their possession by those claiming to be in need.

“Our discovery confirms that criminals keep their guns and other weapons with the so-called beggars,” she said. Most of these beggars were from Bauchi, Kano, and other northern states, constituting a significant social menace in Ilorin and its surroundings.

Opeyemi also mentioned that the government had treated and discharged five lunatics who were disturbing the peace in Ilorin, after certifying their mental stability. These individuals were repatriated to their respective states. “We have evacuated 158 young beggars from the streets; 88 were raided initially, and another 70 were added later. They have been repatriated to their states,” she added.

The state government has engaged with the leadership of these impaired groups on multiple occasions to address these issues, but Opeyemi noted, “the truth is that they are just too stubborn.”

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