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Northern leaders urge FG to stop relocation of almajirai

By Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze, Abuja
06 May 2020   |   3:00 am
The Northern Traditional Leaders Council (NTLC) has called for a direct order from the Federal Government to stop the relocation of almajarai from one state to another

The Northern Traditional Leaders Council (NTLC) has called for a direct order from the Federal Government to stop the relocation of almajarai from one state to another, warning that such action would escalate the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), especially in the North.

However, the Federal Government has appealed to the traditional leaders to safeguard their communities by mobilising, sensitising, reporting and monitoring activities within their domains, to curb further spread of COVID-19.

Relocation of the almajirai, they said, is against the presidential order on inter-state travels.

Chairman of the council, Alhaji Samila Mohammed, during an online meeting between the government and NTLC yesterday, decried the way the almajirai were conveyed in heavily guarded convoy.

He expressed concern over the moving of the boys to various states without testing them for COVID-19.

The Emir of Jiwa, Alhaji Idris Musa, urged the Federal Government to do something about the way people who died of the virus were buried, stressing that most of the people who participated in burial did not wear any Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

He stressed the need for sustained enlightenment to ensure that COVID-19 patients were neither stigmatised nor discriminated against.

On his part, the Mai Kaltungo, Saleh Mohammed, appealed to the government to establish a testing centre in Gombe State to increase turnaround time for testing and treatment.

Earlier, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, had told the traditional leaders to assist in ensuring compliance with the government’s directives on inter state movements.

He emphasised that the presidential order banned inter-state travel except for the movement of essential goods.

According to him, the inter-state movement of any person is against the order given by the president.

The minister, who called on the traditional leaders to work with the government to save the citizens, by ensuring preventive measures were adhered to, observed that protection of the people was a divine responsibility bestowed on royal fathers.

He said, “These are indeed trying times for our dear country and indeed the world as the novel coronavirus has been spreading exponentially since December 2019 when it was first detected in Wuhan, China. We are faced with a pandemic that is ravaging our communities, killing our people, hence the need for us to work together to save our communities and country from the grasp of this deadly virus.”

Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, noted that the meeting was convened as part of the collaboration between the agency and the traditional institution countrywide to curb community transmission of coronavirus.

“We want to tap into the experience of the traditional leaders because they were in the frontline in the fight against the Wild Polio Virus (WPV). We want to stop the virus from spreading further into our communities,” he said.

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