Tag Archives: Almajiris

Almajiri Migration: Governors have failed to account for security votes given to them-Activist

Patrick Eholor the Patriot.

Patriot Patrick Eholor in this interview, analyzes the sudden influx of of northern youths to the south in the wake of the Covid-19 interstate lockdown:

We have become very worried about the sudden and unprecedented repatriation of young northerners down south in this period of interstate lockdown. There is a rumour too that they are members of Boko Haram running from the onslaught of the Nigerian army. What’s your take on this?

If its established that these people are truly coming, then it’s a difficult issue to approach because they are Nigerians. You cannot restrict Nigerians from moving around the country or tell them where to work or where to live. It’s very clear in our constitution, especially when he or she has not violated any laws. But the issue is that, at this time of Covid-19, if its true, especially when they had to pack them like sardines to come to Southern Nigeria, its reprehensible, its inhuman, its sick and it’s sad. But then, perhaps, this Covid-19 has become a money making machine for our irresponsible governors and governments. First of all, they were supposed to be a restriction of interstate movement.

South East Governors

So how did they pass our security men manning the state boundaries? How do they get from the north to the south when there is a curfew, and a restriction of movement? That’s to tell you that most of our governors are irresponsible, very inactive.

You can see what Governor Wike is doing. He is not my type of person, he is sometimes seen as an extremist in his attitude. But I commend him for impounding trucks, for arresting and detaining those who break the law, and quarantining them. Other governors should emulate that.
If you are a transporter and you know that your car will likely be confiscated or impounded and auctioned, that he is going to get paid for a day and lose his truck for ever, I think the other governors should wake up and do something very quick.

If they don’t do that, whatever they are expecting from IMF as palliative measure for this Covid-19 from the west they probably will have difficulty in cashing in to that money. The west are also watching and seeing that we are not showing signs of irresponsibility.

I understand there are demonstrations going on in my Edo State by Covid-19 positive patients. They are protesting. There are also protests in the North. I think the IMF, WHO, and others should investigate Nigeria if they are actually doing what they should be doing.

Regarding Edo, it was reported that over 600 youths were stopped and sent back to Kogi State in trucks and bikes, and the vigilantes felt overwhelmed. They felt the Edo State government is not giving them enough support to check the borders. What’s your input on that?

South south governors

Basically, this is a matter that the security votes cover. Since the coming of Gov Obaseki, the security votes have been increased and he gets more money than other governors. So where is the security money going to? What is happening with the DSS in our state? What about the police and the military, because these are all combined teams that secure our state. We also have the state police corp, Waibaizinga. So what are they all doing? A friend told me he was going to Lagos and I told him its not possible. He said it’s possible. He just paid the money and bribed the police on the way. He went to Lagos yesterday and came back to day. Where did he pass when there is an inter state lockdown?

Either these people don’t know what they are doing or they think everything is a joke.

You can’t have the police, army, DSS, Waibaizinga and they will not be able to monitor people who left the North as far away as Kano, Zamfara, Kaduna, all those places, and they will travel all the way from that area with a trailer load of human beings.

Again, my concern is not about the northerners coming from the north, but am worried that if there is a restriction that people should stay where they are and there should be social distancing, I think its morally irresponsible, morally bankrupt of Edo State Government not to be able to checkmate this movement.

Stop chasing Almajiris off your states, Prophet Muhammad is against it – MURIC cautions Northern govs

The Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, on Friday criticized the current expulsion of almajiris from various Northern states to their states of origin due to the spread of COVID-19.

It said the expulsion of almajiris by state governments was wrongly-timed.

MURIC urged Northern governors to postpone the expulsion of almajiris until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

The group made the call in a statement signed and sent to DAILY POST by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

MURIC stated that the world would have been a better place if the teachings of Prophet Muhammad were adhered to by the people.

Following the outbreak of COVID-19, several states have been repatriating almajiris from their states.

However, MURIC in a statement said: “Many states of the North have been expelling large numbers of almajiris back to their states of origin in recent times. For example, on April 21st, 2020, Kano expelled 432 almajiris to Katsina, 63 to Yobe, 198 to Kaduna, etc. Expectedly, the Northern states are beginning to take responsibility and there is every reason to believe that plans are already on ground to take good care of those almajiris on arrival in their home states. The motive behind it is commendable.

“However, the expulsions have coincided with the COVID-19 outbreak and this is our first concern. The children are being exposed to great danger. To make matters worse, significant numbers of these almajiris are testing positive to Coronavirus, thereby swelling the COVID-19 caseloads of their receiving states and making the management of this global pandemic more difficult for Nigerian authorities.

“Unfortunately, some of these almajiris are also escaping to southern states, potentially spreading COVID-19 to every nook and cranny of Nigeria.

“It is clear that the concerned Northern States appeared to have acted without consulting Islamic scholars who are at their beck and call. Islam opposes the idea of leaving a city under plague attack. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) warned that, ‘If a plague breaks out in a city and you are living there, do not leave it. And if you are about to enter a city and there is a plague there, do not enter there’.

“The reported expulsions and arrangement of caravan-like trips for the expulsion of almajiris from some Northern states is therefore ill-advised and badly timed. The exercise is already being abused as some of the almajiris are allegedly escaping southwards. Worse still is the fact that some of them have already tested positive for COVID-19.

“Nigeria would have fared better if we had strictly followed the Islamic teaching on remaining in one place during a plague. Even the world would have been safer today but the phobia for anything Islamic did not allow world powers to take advantage of the wisdom in Islamdom for managing pandemics.

“We appeal to the security agencies to strictly enforce the ban on interstate travels, including stemming the tide of interstate almajiri ‘exports’. Many of the index cases in some states have been traced to people who came in from outside such states. The police have a case to answer, particularly concerning trailers caught with human and animal cargoes in the south during the week. How did they ply the roads that lead to the south with several roadblocks along the line?

“As we round off, we enjoin Northern governors to postpone the expulsion of almajiris until the COVID-19 pandemic is over. Instead, the Federal Government, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the NCDC should collaborate with the concerned Northern states to gather all those almajiris in a few central locations, test them for the Coronavirus, isolate the infected and treat them promptly. That way, this scourge will be nipped in the bud among them and we would have prevented the spread of COVID-19 via infected almajiris to the whole of the country.

“Those in charge of the repatriation of almajiris must also ensure that the latter do not successfully escape down south where nobody understands their culture. We charge Nigerians to exercise patience by refraining from travels around this period and, better still, by staying at home, maintaining social distancing, using facemasks and washing their hands regularly or using sanitisers.”