Lagos State Government yesterday shut down another illegal orphanage home named Pro Labore Der at Gbetewo village in Olorunda Local Council Development Area of Badagary, saying it rescued 24 children during the operation.
It was gathered that officials of the Ministry of Youth and Social Development got a distress call which detailed the activities of the home before storming the illegal orphanage home to carry out the rescue operation.
It was gathered that though the operator of the home absconded when government rescue team arrived, children that were rescued during the operation were within the ages of four months and a pregnant 17year old woman.
Briefing journalists about the rescue in Lagos, the Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Hon. Agboola Dabiri said the state is not going back in its resolve to stamp out all illegal homes in the state.
Dabiri expressed sadness at the uncertainty surrounding the general wellbeing of children in illegal homes, reiterating that all unregistered homes had been given an ultimatum to register under government, as failure to comply means automatic closure and prosecution by the government.
“For no reason should children be deprived of their rights, adequate care, feeding, shelter, clothing and health care. We are not against adoption, but patronage of illegal orphanage is a crime.”
He debunked the belief in some quarters that churches and mosques are eligible to register homes, saying religious organizations have no right to certify and authorize the operation of orphanage homes in the State.
“It is fine for churches, mosques to own orphanage homes. We are not against that, but they do not have the right to give licences or authorise the operation of a home. Only the Ministry has the mandate of regulating and authorising operation of homes. No rest for illegal homes, nobody should hide behind religious organisations.”
The Commissioner urged landlords in the state to be aware of activities of their tenants to avoid harbouring criminals.
While commending the traditional chief of Gbetewo, Gabriel Babatunde Mehoto who was instrumental in the rescue, Dabiri called on members of the public to support government in its course to achieve a better and safer society.
He said 20 of the children are currently under rehabilitation in government homes across the state, saying the physically challenged with Down’s syndrome are in the hospital, while one that is seriously ill is also in the hospital.