Repatriation of almajiris spreading COVID-19 - AAC tells state governors

Repatriation of almajiris spreading COVID-19 - AAC tells state governors

- The African Action Congress has warned that the repatriation of almajiris across Nigeria is spreading the dreaded COVID-19

- The party called for the stoppage of the exercise, saying it increases the spread of COVID-19 across the country

- The AAC stated that the almajiris are Nigerians who must be treated with compassion and dignity

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The African Action Congress (AAC) has warned that the repatriation of almajiris across Nigeria is spreading the dreaded COVID-19.

In the past few days, state governments, especially in northern Nigeria, have been evacuating almajiris to their state of origin.

The decision followed the directive of northern governors on the evacuation of almajiris to their respective states of origin.

The AAC in a statement sent to journalists on Thursday, May 7 and signed by its national chairman, Dr Leonard Nzenwa, called for the stoppage of the exercise, saying it increases the spread of COVID-19 across the country.

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Repatriation of almajiris spreading COVID-19 - AAC tells state governors

The repatriation of almajiris in the country has become a daily occurrence. Photo credit: CPJ
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“The almajiris should be tested in the states they reside, if found positive should be quarantined and treated while the rest should be kept in a camp and efforts made to locate their parents who will identify and take them home.

“We must realize that these are fellow Nigerians who must be treated with compassion and dignity,” the party said.

The party also called on the federal government to be transparent in the management of COVID-19 funds and donations it received from local and foreign donors.

“Nigerians are saddened by the poor handling of the social intervention funds, conditional cash transfer and palliatives to indigent compatriots which gave room for corruption and neglect of the very vulnerable people they were meant to serve.

“It is also disheartening to note that no government official has been able to respond positively and satisfactorily to query directed at ascertaining the exact amount received for the fight against COVID-19,” the party lamented.

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The AAC also decried the shortage of testing kits and isolation centres as lamented by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The party stated that it is an indication that the federal government is not serious to address the COVID-19 pandemic despite billions of dollars donated for that purpose.

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Meanwhile, the Plateau government has announced that it has evacuated 709 almajiris and received 145 into the state.

This was disclosed by the secretary to the government of Plateau state, Professor Danladi Atu who briefed journalists on Wednesday, May 6 in Jos.

His words: “We have received 99 almajiris from Nasarawa state, 46 from Kaduna and Gombe states. We have also profiled and evacuated 700 almajiris to their states of origin.”

Similarly, over 100 almajiris intercepted by officials of the Abia state homeland security on Tuesday, May 5 on the Abia-Enugu border, have been sent back to their respective states.

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Abia state commissioner for information, Chief John Okiyi-Kalu, disclosed this during a recent interview.

According to him, the almajiris were turned back as a result of the border closure in the state.

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