Traders and residents in Kara, Ibafo and Mowe Communities in Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State, have reaised alarm over the influx of mentally ill persons roaming their communities.
The traders said that the mentally ill persons, who lurk in uncompleted buildings, abandoned houses, bridges, stalls and roadsides, have become a concern to the residents.
Punchng says when its reporter visited the communities, some suspected mentally ill persons were sighted roaming and hanging around.
It was gathered that there are fears that the presence of these mentally ill persons may be an opportunity for evil-doers to perpetrate harm in society.
A trader who identified as Oluwatomisin said, the mentally ill persons roaming in the street and marketplace are a form of disturbance as some of them also harass people who visit the market.
“There is even one mentally ill woman who harassed me two days ago. She gathered trash on the pedestrian bridge and someone cleared it because it was becoming an eye store, so she thought I was the one. Then she started scattering my wares, throwing stones and wood at everyone in the market, which caused pandemonium for more than 30 minutes.
“Assuming we know where we can take them to, we would have, so they would not be disturbing us. The government should make provision for one,” she said.
Another trader, Modupe Abraham, said most of the mentally ill persons roaming around the street are exposed to danger as their lives are at stake.
She said, “Some sleep on the highway, and they may become a victim of an accident. The people in charge should come and relocate them and administer proper treatment to them”.
Another trader identified as Tosin said the market women, customers, and residents have been helpful to the mentally ill persons because they show them affection, but it is not enough.
She further said, “We don’t see them as a disturbance because we are aware of their condition. People in the market are kind towards them.
“The mentally ill persons loitering sincerely need help.”
When contacted, the Permanent Secretary, Ogun State Ministry Of Humanitarian Affairs, Mrs Ogunremi, did not respond to texts and calls as at the time of filing this report.