The Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu yesterday received 61 Almajiri children repatriated by Kano State Government.
The children who were brought back to their state of origin, Kebbi, were in company of their teachers.
They were received in Birnin Kebbi, by governor Atiku Bagudu at the IDP camp in Kalgo in the presence of other stakeholders, including members of the State Executive Council, local government councils’ chairmen and State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) among others .
Speaking at the event, the governor said that, the repatriation of the children to Kebbi- State, by the Kano State Government, was in line with the recent decision taken by the Governors of the 19 Norhern states.
According to him, the children were earlier tested by the Kano State Government and duly declared COVID-19 free.
Bagudu- said that , those who had tested positive to the disease were left at Kano, receiving treatment , while they would be repatriated afterwards.
The governor explained that, the decision to repatriate such children to their various states of origin was unanimously taken by the governors.
Bagudu stated, “This decision was taken in the best interest of the children, as well as the educational development of the region..
“ Education is the basic fundamental human right of these children and we will not tinker with it
“These children are from Maiyama, Jega, Argungu, Dandi, Suru, Bagudo and Kalgo.
“They will be handed over to the chairmen, for them to be reunited with their various families,for continuation of their education.
“Their proper identities would be ascertained and those whose proper identifies could not be immediately ascertained will be taken to the various Government orphanages
“The state government will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that, these children’s education is not toyed with.”
The governor also announced that each of the children would be given a token amount of money, as a startup base for the continuation of his education.
The governor also announced that the state government would soon conduct a census of all the Almajiri Children across the state .
This, he noted, was with the view to reunite those from the state, with their various families and for the continuation of their education,
Bagudu disclosed that those from other states in Nigeria would be repatriated back to their states of origin, while those from the neighboring counties would be repatriated back to their countries, through the Federal Government.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Alhaji Muhammadu Magawata Aliero told the Almajiris that since the Kano State Government announced the decision to return them back to Kebbi, Governor Bagudu had expressed his utmost concern about their welfare up till the time they arrived Kebbi State.
The Chairman, Task Force on Covid -19 who is also the state Commissioner for Health, Alhaji Jafar Muhammed (Clean) also emphasised that before the 61 almajiris were repatriated to the state, the Kano state Government had ensured that they were tested, the result turned out to be negative and certified Covid -19 free .
He rolled out the number of the Almajiri children and the 7 local government areas they come from as follows: Maiyama local government area, 13 almajiris, Jega, 9 , Argungu, 13, Dandi, 18, Kalgo, 4, Bagudo,3 while Suru local government area has only 1, making a total of 61 almajiris repatriated to the state , he said.
Jafar handed over the almajiri children to the chairmen of the seven local government areas they came from for onward delivery to their parents.