A batch of ‘almajiri’ children transferred from Nasarawa State to Taraba state, were rejected by the state government on Monday May 4.
The children who arrived the Taraba capital, Jalingo, from Lafia, Nasarawa’s capital on Sunday alongside officials of the Nasarawa State Ministry of Women Affairs, were rejected because “Nasarawa officials did not observe due protocol.”
The children slept outside the office of the Secretary to the Taraba State Government on Sunday May 3, and were only attended to at 10 a.m. on Monday. They were formally rejected with a letter addressed to the Secretary to Government of Nasarawa State and instructions to the officials to take the children back.
The letter from the office of the Secretary to Taraba State government, dated May 4, 2020 with reference no SSG / ADM/ S/ 167/ 11/ 125, signed by one Sunday Maiyaki, Permanent Secretary Political Cabinet Affairs and General Services, in part reads:
“The unphysical verification the number of pupils brought to Taraba State are 79 not 102 as stated in the letter brought from Nasarawa state.
“The government of Taraba State wish to return the pupils to you and requests that the pupils should be properly profiled indicating their local government of origin in Taraba State and ‘individual status’ in respect of the pandemic.”
One of the Nasarawa State Official who expressed disappointment with the development said “All the almajiris were kept in isolation in a secondary school in Lafia and tested for coronavirus and all of them are negative.
“Almajiris brought were not provided with food and left inside vehicles that brought them for several hours and only to be rejected even though they are indigenes of the state.
“We were asked to take the almajiris back to Nasarawa with a letter addressed to the Secretary to Nasarawa State Government with N100,000 to fuel our vehicles.”
Taraba commissioner of information, Danjuma Adamu however said that the kids were rejected because Nasarawa officials did not observe ‘due protocol’.
Adamu said “Due protocol was not followed in returning them back. The (Taraba) state government needs to know their exact number, health status (positive or negative to COVID-19) in details and their respective local government areas. Not just pack them in buses for the sake of returning them.”