Panic as rising influx of mentally challenged persons on major Warri streets,roads, market and highways across is alarming.

The rising influx of mentally challenged persons on the streets, major roads, market places and highways across Delta State is alarming. While not all appear violent, some others may pose danger to normal people.

Often times people have testified of these mad persons throwing stones at unsuspecting members of the public, or bearing objects which could be used to inflict harm.

Where do they come from? Don’t they have relatives? Is there a provision for them by government? Which government authority is responsible for their welfare? How do they survive? Can they be cured? These among many other worrying questions come to mind when the thought of the potential menace they pose to the general public stares one in the face.

Having mad men around has become a normal feature in the society such that  one even notices when they suddenly disappear from a known spot.

Sparsely cladded in rags or entirely naked, they walk around streets, roads, markets and highways in the day time.PANIC as mentally ill persons prowl Warri streets, highways

And at night, they nest in their makeshift abodes, mostly under bridges, bus stops, roadsides and medians of highways. Some of them bear trash luggage which they guard jealously and take with them wherever they go.

In recent times, persons who engage in rituals, have allegedly taken to disguising as mad persons so as to easily carry out u their plans.

One would think that this development should push the relevant authorities to clear the society of mad people, but no, they continue to increase.

Cases of mad women putting to birth have at one time or the other dominated the media space, but what happens to such be the most victims of mental issues.

This reporter took a survey of mentally challenged persons in Warri and its neighbouring towns and discovered a total of 46 mad persons roaming the highways and some major roads.

Of this number are 28 men, 18  women, while 25 looked below 30 years of age. While this may not be an exact number of the entire mad populace in these areas, it is a shocking figure.

Interactions with some residents of Warri metropolis indicated that some of these tagged mad persons will be off the streets if given the necessary healthcare.

A businesswoman, simply identified as Mrs. Efe, said some make their living from doing some sorts of odd jobs. “When I was selling at PTI Junction, they used to help us carry our goods and we pay them little money.

But a time came and they were picked up by probably government people. It really became tough for us after they left because we had to struggle with carrying our things by ourselves,” she said.

While some still have the sense to work in order to eat, others go about begging alms or food. However, there are some who steal. They monitor their target and snatch whatever it is that has caught their eyes. The Nation witnessed a scenario at the popularbe the most victims of mental issues.

This reporter took a survey of mentally challenged persons in Warri and its neighbouring towns and discovered a total of 46 mad persons roaming the highways and some major roads.

Of this number are 28 men, 18  women, while 25 looked below 30 years of age. While this may not be an exact number of the entire mad populace in these areas, it is a shocking figure.

The Nation witnessed a scenario at the popular Jakpa Junction in Uvwie council area, where a known madman snatched a N200 note from a passenger aboard a tricycle, popularly known as ‘Keke Napep,’ and ran away.

There was traffic at the Effurun Market axis of the junction, so she got down calling out the madman, ‘hief, he stole my money.’

Other tricycle riders and people around just laughed and said, ‘Madam, who will chase a madman now?’ Seeing the helpless situation, she boarded the vehicle and left.

A young lady, Blessing Okoh (not real names), also recounted an encounter with one near PTI Junction. “I was returning from choir rehearsals that evening, about 6:40pm.

There was heavy traffic. So, I stood at the junction trying to get Keke. Suddenly, I felt someone smack my buttocks. I was already raising my voice to unleash mayhem when I turned and saw it was a madman, a young one like in his mid 20s.

He sniffed at me. Oh, I was embarrassed and afraid and just stepped away from him. The people in traffic were just staring.

I can’t even tell if they noticed what happened. Imagine if that place was lonely, that guy could have done worse. I don’t even want to think about it,” Okoh added, shaking her head as if to shut out the image.

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