An alleged illegal orphanage, Pro Labore Der (labour for God), at Agemowo village in the Olorunda Local Council Development Area, Badagry, was recently shut down by the Lagos State Government.
It was also gathered that during the raid, 24 children were rescued among which was a four-month old baby and a pregnant 17-year-old girl. According to the Officials of the Ministry of Youth and Social Development, the existence of the illegal home came to the notice of the research department of the ministry through a distress call which detailed the activities of the home to enforcement officers of the government.
Punch reported that the operator of the illegal orphanage reportedly fled on sighting the state government’s team. Lagos State Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Agboola Dabiri, who spoke to newsmen shortly after the raid said the state government would not go back on its words to make all illegal homes non-existent.
“All unregistered homes have been given an ultimatum to register under government. So, failure to comply will be met with automatic closure of the facility and immediate legal action.
“Also, the belief that churches and mosques are eligible to approve homes is wrong. No religious organisation has the power to certify or authorise the operation of care homes in the state.”
The Commissioner urged landlords in the State not to accommodate anyone seeking shelter in their houses but must be aware of activities of their tenants to avoid harboring 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 the government in its course to achieve a better and safer society.
Twenty of the children are currently under rehabilitation in government homes across the state, three physically challenged with down syndrome is in the hospital, while one is seriously ill in the hospital.