Lagos — Lagos State Government, yesterday, debunked allegation that it deported 67 indigenes of Anambra State, saying what happened was that the state government did rehabilitation and resettlement of citizens from other states.
It equally assured residents of adequate security of life and property in the wake of the recent arrest of some Boko Haram suspects in the state.
Briefing after the weekly security meeting chaired by Governor Babatunde Fashola, state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Umar Manko, said the state government only resettled the 67 Anambra indigenes.
According to him: “What happened was that the state government did rehabilitation and resettlement of the citizens from other states. These were those who came into the state and turned into destitute.
“After the state government realised this, it embarked on a reform mission. After that, they indicated that they would be happy to go back to their home-towns and be resettled. That was what happened. There wasn’t any deportation as claimed.”
Similarly, Lagos State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, has berated critics of Lagos State Government over the controverial deportation, saying no sane government will be blackmailed into allowing homeless individuals to inflict security and environmental problems to its state just to please those that readily play lousy and retrogressive politics with issues for selfish and ulterior interests.
In a statement by its state Publicity Secretary, Joe Igbokwe, the party said it was irked by the decision of “some professional chance takers and political opportunists to take advantage of the recent movement of some indigent, homeless and social miscreants to Onitsha for the purpose of re-connecting with their families when they have no tangible business in Lagos.
“We expect that the opposition in Lagos and its array of frustrated politicians will certainly seek to play politics with the decision of the Lagos State government to move some people that have no tangible business staying in Lagos to their home states.
“We expected that the professional ethnic agitators who have wasted public offices in Igboland, pillaging resources that would have served the interests of the people are now cashing further from the plights of their vicious approach to governance on this issue.
“It is a shame to the opposition that it is seeking cheap political capital from the plight of the hapless victims of its free loading approach to governance and has drawn the support of ethnic irredentists whose failure on governance left the Igbo people so poor that they have become homeless refugees in Lagos and other parts of the country.”
“To put the records straight, the Lagos State government, with its commitment to the interests of Lagosians and in its effort to build a functional modern mega city, had long embarked on the decision to pick up the many derelicts, the homeless, beggars and social miscreants that inhabit all parts of Lagos, clean them up, find means of livelihood for those that are employable and send those it cannot manage to their respective states.
“We are all aware that this scheme has seen the practical reduction in the number of the beggars, street urchins and social miscreants that used to constitute real danger to life in Lagos and has seen such people moved back to various states, mainly in the North.
“We should note also that other states in the South, including South West states have received such people and the Lagos State Government has been careful to ensure that the number of people involved in such periodic movements are minimal and are only people who do not have where to stay in Lagos, who don’t have any real engagement in Lagos and who constitute nuisance to other Lagosians.”