Northern Governors Dare FG, Insists on Almajiri Deportation
POLITICS DIGEST – Amidst mixed reactions by various stakeholders and in what appears to be a defiance of the Federal Government’s position on the ongoing expulsion of the Almajiri children in the North, the Northern Governors Forum has insisted that the process will continue.
The region’s leaders stated this on Wednesday at their fourth teleconference on the COVID-19 response.
In a statement by Dr Macham Makut, the Director of Press and Public Affairs to the forum’s Chairman and Plateau State Governor, Solomon Lalong, the Governors expressed concern that the North accounted for 54 per cent of COVID-19 cases in the country while also disclosed that the region accounted for 70 per cent of new coronavirus infections in Nigeria.
On the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the statement said the governors resolved to maintain their earlier decision to purchase COVID-19 Mobile Testing Vans which had already been ordered to improve the testing capacity of the states, particularly in the rural areas to boost testing of more citizens especially in the rural areas.
They frowned at the lapses in enforcing closure of inter-state boundary roads, and expressed disappointment that despite several measures taken, including presidential orders, there were still violations where people moved from one state to another through compromise and use of illegal routes.
It will be recalled that Northern Governors recently started deporting children to their various States across the Region in a bid to curb spread of the Coronavirus outbreak.
The Northern Governors’ Forum has insisted that the Almajiri system in the region be banned.
Reacting to the expulsion, the Federal Government had, through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha, said the repatriation of the Almajirai from one state to the other is against the presidential order banning inter-state travels.
Raising similar concern, the House of Representatives had urged the federal government to enforce the inter-state travel ban order as well as direct the state governors concerned to immediately halt the evacuation of the Almajirai.
The House similarly urged the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to counsel the affected governors on the threat posed by the evacuation of the children at this critical period.