Soludo Rakes Beggars, Hawkers Off Anambra Streets and Markets

By Izunna Okafor, Awka

In pursuance of his determination ensure improved quality of lives and standard of living, Governor Chukwuma Soludo-led Anambra State Government has stormed the streets of Awka, the capital city of the State in search of beggars.

The search for and the apprehension of the beggars, which started on Wednesday, is being carried out by the State Ministry of Women Affairs, in collaboration with the Operation Clean and Healthy Anambra (OCHA Brigade).

Also apprehended and taken off the streets during the exercise were underage hawkers operating and selling sachet water, drinks and other goods along the various streets and markets around the Awka metropolis. Recall that the state government had earlier banned underage hawking, street trading, street begging and other such activities capable of denigrating the State and exposing the people to different kinds of danger and risks.

The enforcement team, led by Commissioner Ify Obinabo, visited Aroma Junction, Unizik Junction, Amawbia Flyover, Eke Awka Markets; Zik's Avenue; Arthur Eze Avenue, among other places, where they arrested no fewer than thirty (30) beggars and underage hawkers.

The beggars were, thereafter, taken to the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs at the Prof. Dora Akunyili Women Development, Awka, where they are currently under the custody of the Commissioner.

All efforts made by this reporter to speak with Commissioner Obinabo on the reason behind the initiative and what the State Government plans to do with, for, or to the rescued persons, proved abortive, as she promised to get back to this reporter, but has not, as at the time of this publication.

However, a source from the Ministry, who pleaded anonymity, said the rescued beggars and hawkers were taken to the Ministry for the purpose of proper documentation, rehabilitation and reintegration.

The source also added that the Commissioner would sustain and replicate the initiative in other parts of the State till Anambra streets and markets get rid of beggars and underage hawkers.

According to the source, the efforts will also help to reduce the increasing number of out-of-school children and beggars in the state, while also helping in the actualization of Soludo's vision to make Anambra a clean, healthy, green livable and prosperous homeland in every sense of it.