Northern Govs Defend Profiling, Returning of Almajirai to Home States

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Seriki Adinoyi in Jos

Northern Governors’ Forum (NGF) has lamented the policitisation of the recent profiling and transfer of Almajirai to their home states, insisting that it was done in good faith.

The governors said the action was a unanimous decision of all member-governors of the NGF to protect the children who were abandoned and became at risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19.

Chairman of the forum and Governor of Plateau State, Mr. Simon Lalong disclosed this yesterday when he received National Assembly caucus from the state who were at the Government House, Rayfield, Jos to present their donation to the governor to boost the fight against COVID-19.

Lalong said, “Although many are trying to politicise the matter, I can assure you that it is the best decision we have taken in the interest of these Almajirai who for years have been suffering and left at the mercy of the streets.

“You will recall that the President’s wife, Her Excellency Aisha Buhari convened a summit at the Villa which was attended by the President, the Sultan, governors from the North and religious leaders. The decision was to stop the Almajirai system completely, and we believe that we have the best chance to do so in order to improve the lives of these children and give them proper education and care.”

Lalong therefore appealed to the legislators to continue to support the government in ensuring that the program succeeds despite the misinformation and improper tagging of economic migrants to the other parts of the country as “Almajiris” which he described as most unfortunate and improper.

The lawmakers on the visit were led by the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Idris Maje, and they donated an undisclosed sum of money to the Plateau State COVID-19 Trust Fund to assist government deal with the pandemic.

Maje said the donation was in appreciation of the measures taken by the state government so far in dealing with the pandemic through several measures.

He said, “We have noted with delight some of the major steps you have taken to curtail the disease especially by restricting movements which has done a lot to limit the spread of the pandemic. We have seen you deploy technology in the borders to enforce the movement of people which largely limited importation of the disease.”

Lalong who expressed appreciation for the gesture said the donation again shows their patriotism and unity towards the progress of the state.