Nigeria: Coronavirus - Kano Evacuates Almajiris to States of Origin

The Kano State Government said it will commence the evacuation of 'almajiri' pupils to their respective states so they can reunite with their families.

Almajiri is ideally a system of Islamic education practiced in northern Nigeria, where young children leave their homes to live with Islamic scholars and learn about the religion. Almajiri derives from an Arabic word, "al-Muhajirun" meaning a person who leaves his home in search of Islamic knowledge.

However, the system has over the years been bastardised with thousands of such children roaming the streets of Northern Nigeria as beggars and without any form of education.

The system has been blamed for significantly contributing to the over 10 million out of school children in Nigeria.

A statement signed by the Kano commissioner for information, Muhammad Garba, on Monday indicated that the measure to evacuate the children was taken to decongest the streets

He said considering the fact that schools were closed three weeks ago, "the almajiri seminaries remain congested with pupils having no shelter and nowhere to go".

According to him, preparations have been concluded for the handing over of 432 almajiris to the Katsina State government on Tuesday at the Kano/Katsina border.

He said the measure, which was also adopted after due consultation, is in line with its proactive measures to control the spread of the deadly coronavirus in the state.

The commissioner said the state government is in contact with concerned states to ensure the process is successful.

He gave a list of the number of pupils and their states:

Katsina, 432

Yobe, 63

Kaduna, 198

Jigawa, 663

Bauchi, 101

Zamfara, 01

Gombe, 09

Nassarawa, 10

Kano (LGs), 117

Niger Republic, 01

Mr Garba assured that the exercise would be continuous "until all the almajiris are evacuated and sent to their states of origin".

He called on the public to religiously observe the stay at home order and personal hygiene in order to be safe.

Kano has already recorded 59 cases of the dreaded coronavirus.

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