Beggars take over Ibadan’s Mokola Bridge – literally
The bridge at Mokola was a major subject of controversy during the last general elections in Oyo state. It was so serious to the extent that incumbent governor, Abiola Ajimobi and former Governor Rashidi Ladoja exchanged words over the cost of construction – and quality – of the bridge with the later accusing the former of inflating the cost of the project.
Anyways, that’s in the past. Last evening, I decided to visit the bridge and check out its current state. What I saw was a sore sight. Beggars are everywhere! They are not hiding from rainfall or sunlight, no. Instead, they are basically operating from – and living there.
The interesting part is they are really numerous. I could count more than 30 at a quick glance. I don’t know when it started but it is really a bad sight to behold.
They spread mat under the bridge. They eat and sleep on the green rug and the whole place is dirty.
Interestingly, there are law enforcement officials around the place, including road transport union workers but no one is saying anything. The child beggars too compete with the adults.
I believe if the situation remains unchanged, criminals will in no time start lurking around the bridge – they may be doing that already. Which is why the state government and law enforcement officials need to look into the state of the bridge and ensure that people are not sleeping or begging there – for their own safety and that of the local community.
I took some pictures of the beggars at the bridge. Check them out below.