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Ganduje tells northern governors to stop making noise over almajiris with coronavirus

Posted By Kenneth nwakauba | In Politics | Jul 11, 2022, 5:57 am

Ganduje says Kano has also received almajiris from other states who have tested positive for the coronavirus disease.

Kano State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has rebuked northern state governors who are politicising the transfer of almajiri students amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Northern Governor’s Forum reached an agreement last month to ban the almajiri system as part of efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria.

The system is a form of education that requires young children to be sent far away from their homes to Islamic scholars.

The governors agreed to evacuate the children back to their parents or states of origin to minimise their exposure to the disease that has infected over four million people across the world.

READ ALSO: Over 90 Patients Who Recovered From Coronavirus Test Positive Again

However, since the repatriation commenced, some of the children have tested positive for the disease after returning to their home states.

Most notably, 65 almajiri students tested positive for COVID-19 in Kaduna after being returned from Kano. 16 others transferred from Kano to Jigawa also tested positive, while another seven tested positive in Bauchi.

A sample being taken from an almajiri in Jigawa State [Facebook/Jigawa State New Media Office]
A sample being taken from an almajiri in Jigawa State [Facebook/Jigawa State New Media Office]

In a statement on Sunday, May 10, 2020, Kano’s Governor Ganduje said there was no need for the governors to politicise the process by singling out the almajiris.

He said Kano has also received infected almajiris from other states, but the state decided to not make any noise about it because the patients don’t need publicity but care.

He said, “The way we are sending back almajiris to their states of origin, we are also receiving almajiris from other states who are Kano indigenes.

“But the fact that we are not making noise about it does not mean they are all healthy without COVID-19 infections.

“Let’s make it categorically clear that some of the almajiris brought to Kano during the exercise are also COVID-19 positive, but we are not making politics out of it. Because we all believe that what they need most now is not noise making or publicity. What they need at this critical point in time is, care giving.”

Ganduje has been widely criticised for its handling of the coronavirus outbreak in the state as it has recorded the second highest number of coronavirus cases with 602, behind Lagos with 1,845 cases.

The state’s death toll is also the second highest of any state in the country, behind Lagos with 33.

Due to the worrying spike in the coronavirus outbreak in Kano, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the enforcement of a total lockdown of the state for a period of two weeks on April 27.

The lockdown period ends on Monday, May 11, with no further directive yet from the presidency.

A total of 4,399 coronavirus cases have been recorded in 34 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, as of May 10.

778 people have been discharged after recovery from the disease, but 143 people have died.

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