Wife of Kebbi Governor Hajiya Aisha Bagudu, has urged northern state governors to provide quality education to repatriated almajiri in their respective states.
Hajiya Bagudu gave the advice on Monday while speaking with newsmen.
She said that the repatriation of almajiri in some northern states to their respective states of origin was an initiative in the right direction.
“The state governments, especially in the north, should take the initiative more serious and follow up the almajiri with quality education.
Also, Kaduna State Govt. evacuates 35,000 Almajiri children, receives more than 1,000 –Commissioner.
“They governments should be mindful that before their repatriation, these children were in an environment totally away from their parents and must have been accustomed to begging and living on the streets.
“This may have resulted in adoption of another moral character different from their states of origin,’’ she said.
She urged them to prioritise the continuation of both Qur’anic and western education for the children now that they are living with their biological parents.
“The state governments should be committed to the full protection of the fundamental human rights of the children,’’ she said.
The wife of the governor also urged parents to be vigilant to know the whereabouts of their children and friends now the cases of rape were rampant in the country.
Hajiya Bagudu, who is the founder of Mass Literacy Programme and Almajiri Initiative (MALPAI), affirmed her commitment to providing support to women to engage in entrepreneurship in order to be self-reliant.
She also promised to continue to assist them to acquire skills and materials to engage in commerce, agriculture and livestock production.
The guidelines according to the Governor include having a curriculum that tallies with a formal school system, there must be a provision for Almajiri in terms of their full shelter, foods, clothing and all other necessary livelihoods.
Ganduje added that if Almajiri system will continue, there must be qualified teachers who will be certified by the government through test and examinations.
“If these guidelines are strictly followed and abide by, then we will allow the system to fully operate in Kano,” Ganduje assured.
The Paediatric Association Of Nigeria (PAN) says it is concerned at the news report of many children called the Almajiri, evacuated from some states in the north and being sent back by the receiving states.
In a communique on Monday, PAN said various reports suggest that most of the children have been treated unfairly, adding that certain measures said to be put in place to ensure proper care for the almajirai has seen the children become victims instead of beneficiaries .
The health body demanded that the children be given the appropriate tender care that they deserve, stressing that the governments of the states in north must not just see the children as mere humans, but as the most vulnerable in the society.
According to PAN, the almajirai are persons who play no role and cannot take responsibility of adults and leaders that have led to the current situation within the region.
PAN urged all concerned state governments to further engage and resolve any disagreement that may exist, with the view of putting the interest of the almajirai as top priority.
While commending all who have been involved in responsible exercises of moving the children, the PAN urged corporate bodies including non-governmental organisations, to assist the state governments in resettling the almajirai in their various homes and to provide them with optimal opportunities, decent and safe environment and quality education.
Kano state government has quarantined over 2000 Almajiris to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the state, the second hotspot of the virus after Lagos State.
The Kano state Commissioner of Health Ibrahim Tsanyawa confirmed this to Channels Television that a team of rapid response experts have been trained to manage the Almajiris at their quarantine centres.
Mr Tsanyawa revealed that the trainees were selected from medical doctors, nurses, community health workers and laboratory scientists to test and screen the Almajiris at their in their camps in Kiru, Gabasawa and Karaye Local Government Areas of the state.
He explained that the Almajiris, including those that had been repatriated from other states to Kano, would be tested for COVID-19.
He added that those who have tested positive for the virus would be taken to isolation center for treatment, while those that are negative would be taken back to their homes and reunite with their parents.
“They are all going to be tested for COVID-19 to know their status. Those with the disease will be taken to isolation centres while the negative ones be reunited with their families.
“We have over 2000 frontline health workers in Kano. Adequate Personal Protective Equipment, PPE had been provided to them to protect themselves. They are also working in public facilities. They work at both private and secondary health institutions,” the commissioner said.
In his remarks, the state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje described the almajiris as the most vulnerable to the virus.
According to him, the kids are subjected to health threats as they have no shelter, living in congestion with no proper sanitation, emphasising that quarantining them and subjecting them to health care is the only way forward.
“We shall commerce testing them. Those that are negative will be taken to their origins. Those found positive will be taken to isolation center and be taken to their states of origin after they recover and fully certified COVID-19 free by NCDC,” he said.
Governor Ganduje charged the trainees to perform above expectations, noting that no amount of allowance could match their reward for sacrifice and service to humanity.
The Kaduna State government has announced that 14 more almajiri Children who recently returned from Kano State have tested positive for COVID-19 Pandemic.
In a statement issued on Saturday, the Special Adviser to the Kaduna state Governor on Media and Communication, Muyiwa Adekeye said the new positive results have increased active cases in the state to 41, with one death recorded.
The statement expressed concern that the figure might rise as more test results are awaited.
“Further progress on expanding testing capacity is being made by the Kaduna state COVID-19 Standing Committee,” he said.
He added that the installation of a PCR machine had commenced at the Yusuf Dantsoho General Hospital at Tudun Wada area of the state capital.
When accredited by the NCDC, the facility will increase to three the number of Covid-19 testing labs activated in Kaduna State during this pandemic.
“The Standing Committee commended the people of Kaduna State for their sacrifice and cooperation in enduring Quarantine Orders that are designed to protect citizens from Covid-19, prevent the spread of the virus from other states and avert the nightmare of community transmission,” the statement continued.
The statement also explained that the robust enforcement of border lockdowns will complement the inconveniences being endured by Kaduna State residents.
“This will eliminate both willful and inadvertent spread of Covid-19 by persons crossing state lines in breach of Kaduna State Quarantine Orders and the prohibition of interstate travel by the Federal Government,” said.
“Citizens are encouraged to report anyone who sneaks into the state so that health officials can take swift action”.
A pro-democracy and human rights group, Concerned Nigerians, has condemned the deportation of ‘street beggars’ popular known as the Almajiris due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The group in a statement made available to Media in Abuja by its Convener, Deji Adeyanju, described the deportation as ill-thought out, inhumane, callous and gross abuse of the fundamental rights of the children by the authorities.
“The state governors erred by deporting the children. It is reprehensible and irresponsible for any government to deport its citizens especially vulnerable children whose lives may be endangered in the process of deportation.
“The deportation of these Nigerians by state governors is unconstitutional. Section 41 of the CFRN guarantees the rights of every citizen to move freely throughout Nigeria and to reside in any part thereof and no citizen shall be expelled or refused entry.
“Nigeria is a nation governed by law and order and unconstitutional acts like this must be condemned by all and sundry. The children are protected by law and their freedom to move and live in any party of the federation without being hounded or harassed by the state must be upheld.
“The founders of our democratic republic demanded that the constitution protects us against government limits on our freedom of movement and assembly as guaranteed in section 41.”
The group called on the government to as a matter of urgency stop any form of deportation or harassment of any Nigerian and ensure that their rights are protected. The group also berated the government for neglecting the children over the years.
The group said, “What we are witnessing today is a failure of leadership and decades of negligence on the part of our leaders. These kids wouldn’t have been on the streets begging if money meant for their education had not being stolen or embezzled. Education is the key to success and every child has the right to qualitative education. It transforms lives, breaks the cycle of poverty and provides a pathway for a better future. These children deserve a better future and the government must ensure they are given one.
“It is also pertinent to note that the state governors do not have the powers under the omnibus section “45 of our constitution” to revoke the right of freedom of movement guaranteed in section 41. Their actions are unconstitutional”.
PLANS are underway by the Sokoto State government to replace the Almajiri system with the Indonesian Pondok education model.
The development was made known at the weekend by Governor of Aminu Tambuwal following a visit to by the Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria, AVM Usra Hendra Harahap.
The Pondok model employs mosques and langgar (a blend of Islamic and Western education) as well as existing local institutions such as surau (Islamic assembly buildings) and pesantren (a Muslim school in Indonesia operated by religious leaders) as the places for Muslims to study Islam.
Tambuwal, however, said the state would consult the Sultan of Sokoto and other stakeholders before developing a home grown version of the Pondok model.
He said further that the government was not in a hurry to ban the Almajiri system which he noted was done by some states without providing an alternative.
He said the Pondok model system once adopted “can serve as an alternative to the Almajiri system.”
“We are intensifying efforts to ensure that the Pondok model system is adopted before banning the Almajiri system. This is because we are desirous of ensuring that Sokoto children are exposed to both Western and Islamic education,” Tambuwal added.
While expressing gratitude to the Indonesian government for taking interest in Sokoto, he assured the Ambassador that his visit would deepen Indonesia’s relationship not only with the state but also the country, with which it shares religious, cultural and climatic similarities.
In his remarks, Ambassador Harahap explained that his visit to the state was to further strengthen the bilateral tie between his country, Nigeria and the state.
“Let me say that my presence in Sokoto is to increase the bilateral relations and cooperation between Indonesia and Nigeria, especially in Sokoto State in the areas of education and agriculture, including animal husbandry,” he said.
Giving reasons it is feasible for the state to have a good relationship with his country, Harahap said his country will “be glad to share its best practices and most advanced scientific knowledge” with the state “to boost animal production.”