In line with enforcing the ban on street begging, Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has outlined guidelines for evacuating Almajiri who are less than ten years of age, back to their states of origin.
Engineer Sule outlined the guidelines while being presented with a report by the Committee on Almajiri, at the Government House, on Thursday.
He disclosed that the evacuation exercise will be in phases, with the immediate evacuation of Almajiri under the age of ten, to be followed with that of those from age ten and above.
According to the Governor, and in order to avoid misunderstandings, government will facilitate the evacuation of all Almajiri from age one to ten, through their original Tsangaya teachers that brought them into the state.
“They know where the brought them from, it’s their responsibility to actually identify where they brought them from, and then they will be the ones who will lead the team in taking them back to where they came from,” he explained.
While promising to work in conjunction with his colleagues from other states, Engineer Sule pointed however that the exercise was not meant to subject the Almajiri to further hardship but to reunite them with their parents for proper care.
He said the modalities for evacuating the Almajiri from the state became necessary following misunderstandings between states, with some states rejecting the returnee Almajiri.
The Governor emphasized that the evacuation was to ensure that these children are taken back to their parents, and not to expose them to more danger or to be abandoned in another state.
“That is not the essence of the exercise. The essence of the exercise is to take care of the children by their own parents,” he stated.
He added that no matter their numbers, Nasarawa State will arrange for these children to be transported back to their states of origin.
“We will arrange vehicles, provide security and ensure that we are taking them to their proper destination. We will provide them with the resources to cater for these children while they are on their way,” Engineer Sule stated.
The Governor the opportunity to thank members of the committee for the good job they carried out, at such short notice.
He especially showed appreciation to traditional rulers and religious leaders across the state, for supporting government, especially in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
While appealing for understanding, Engineer Sule reiterated that measures being taken to combat the spread of COVID-19 are not targeted at penalizing anybody or adding more hardship, to an already difficult situation.
Earlier, while presenting the report, the Emir of Lafia, HRH Justice Sidi Bage (rtd), said the committee recommended for the immediate evacuation of children aged one to ten, describing them as most vulnerable and most exposed to dangers of life.
The committee equally recommended for the subsequent evacuation of children from ten years and above, who fail to meet certain criteria that will allow them to stay in the state.