House of Reps says repatriation of almajiris is violation of human rights

House of Reps says repatriation of almajiris is violation of human rights

- Members of the House of Representatives have asked the federal government to stop the repatriation of the almajiri children to their states of origin

- The lawmakers made the call during plenary on Tuesday, May 12

- The legislators expressed concern about the mass movement of almajiri children amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

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Members of the House of Representatives have called on the federal government to stop the repatriation of the almajiri children to their states of origin.

The lawmakers made the call when deliberating on a motion sponsored by a member of the House, Aishatu Dukku.

Her petition was seconded by another legislator, Henry Archibong.

Dukku faulted the repatriation of Almajiri children on the grounds that it was against the fundamental human rights of any Nigerian to reside in any part of the country.

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The lawmaker also expressed concern that the mass movement of almajiri children is capable of further spreading COVID-19 because of the cramped way the children are transported.

Some state governments have been repatriating hundreds of almajiri children to their states of origin, as a measure to check the transmission of COVID-19 in their states.

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

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.

The security team led by the commissioner for homeland security, Prince Dan Okoli intercepted the almajiris at the border between Abia and Enugu state on the Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway. They were said to have been hidden in a food truck.

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Meanwhile, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Kano state governor, has decried the treatment of almajiri children, saying the street urchins are being used for unnecessary publicity instead of them to be received with open arms.

Speaking at a media briefing on Sunday, May 10, Ganduje said the almajiri in Kano were returned back to their home states "in good faith" and in accordance to procedures of Northern Governors' Forum.

He, however, raised an eyebrow against "noises" being made by his northern colleagues, adding that Kano state does not make politics out the repatriation of the kid beggars as some neighbouring state governments do.

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Governor Ganduje urged the people criticising the state over the number of almajiri kids who tested positive to Covid-19 to understand the process involved in the decision.

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