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Reps intervene in almajiri evacuation, Speaker deplores neglect of government property

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The House of Representatives has charged governors of northern states to immediately stop the evacuation of almajirai from their states. Adopting a motion by Aishatu Jibril Dukku at plenary presided by Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, it urged the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 to enforce inter-state travel ban and direct the governors to abide by the directives.

It urged the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to prevail on the governors to consider the dangers posed by evacuation of the children during the coronavirus pandemic.

The House also tasked the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management to include the almajiri children among beneficiaries of palliatives the Federal Government was distributing to the less privileged in the country.

It equally asked the Ministry of Health to examine the health status of the almajirai, just as the lawmakers urged the Northern Governors Forum (NGF) to rescind their decision on banning Almajiri System of Education until those already in the system were fully integrated in the Universal Basic and Technical Education System.

Dukku, who represents Dukku/Nafada Federal Constituency of Gombe State, noted that about 10 million children attend Almajiri Schools in North with over 500,000 of them in Kano State, from where majority of the children were being evacuated.

Besides, Gbajabiamila expressed concern over the abandonment of Federal Government’s property across the country.Speaking while inaugurating an ad-hoc committee to probe the issue, he said the country, which is contending with reversal in its fortunes, could no longer afford to allow such wastages.

“Our country presently faces several challenges on multiple fronts. We have a public health emergency, unlike anything we have ever seen before.

“At the same time, the drop in oil prices, our most valuable commercial export product, has left us with an economy in severe decline and a government on the brink of failing to meet its obligations,” he said. He, therefore, charged the committee to validate investments on the assets and recommend a plan to put them into good use in the interest of the country.

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