Udora Orizu in Abuja
The House of Representatives at the plenary yesterday urged the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to enforce the inter-state travel ban order as well as direct the state governors concerned to immediately halt the evacuation of the Almajiris.
Recently, the Northern Governors’ Forum under the chairmanship of Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, had unanimously agreed to return all Almajiris to their respective states of origin across the region.
The House also urged the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to counsel the governors concerned on the threat posed by the evacuation of the children at this critical period.
It further urged the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management to include the Almaijiri children among the beneficiaries of the palliatives being distributed by the federal government to the less privileged.
It also urged the Northern Governors’ Forum to provide the Almajiris with the requisite tools for the universal basic and technical education system.
These resolutions were sequel to the unanimous adoption of a motion of urgent public importance titled: ‘Urgent need to look into the evacuation of Almajiri amid the coronavirus pandemic’, sponsored by Hon. Aishatu Dukku and Hon. Shehu Kakale.
Presenting the motion, Dukku noted that about 10 million children attend the Almajiri schools in Northern Nigeria with over 500,000 Almajiris living in Kano State alone where majority of the children are being evacuated from.
She said the evacuation of the children is in violation of the inter-state travel ban currently enforced by the government.
She recalled that the statement by the Northern Governors Forum hinged on the risk that the children are exposed to coronavirus pandemic.
The lawmaker expressed concerns that the evacuation is jeopardising the fight against COVID-19 due to the high level of movement of the children from different places and its attendant high risk of infection.