A major part of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, has been taken over by beggars, who investigation revealed, are from Kaduna State after Governor Nasiru El-Rufai unfolded plans to bar them from the streets of the state capital last month.
A truck driver in Bodija market, Abiade Yusuff, who brings in foodstuff from the North to Oyo State, told our correspondent that more than 100 beggars travelled from the North to Ibadan in trucks each day.
He said youths from the North, who are commercial motorcyclists, were also arriving in the state.
He said, “They beg us to give them a ride to Ibadan from Kaduna, Zaria, Danja, Katsina and other villages, where we load foodstuff. They pay a little fee for the ride. The journey, which can take up to 15 hours, is usually difficult and some of them arrive here sick, especially the children.
“We also have many commercial motorcyclists coming to Ibadan from the North. They strap their motorcycles to the trucks and disembark just outside the city and ride in to their destination. They have guides, who wait for them at a designated point.”
The physically challenged beggars, most of them pregnant women, old women and children, do not limit their target areas to Sabo, where they live in large numbers and commercial centres like Dugbe, Mokola and Oritamerin alone, they are now found in high-brow area of Iyaganku and Bodija.