Cross River State Government led by the no nonsense Professor Benedict Ayade has again returned 120 Almajiri (street kid beggars) to their states. The northern Nigeria for decades has a worrisome culture, which they claim is Islamic where parents give birth to many kids who they force to the streets in cities beyond their states to go and beg to fend for themselves.
In Nigeria today, it is reported that not less than 13million kids are out of school. Of this number, human right experts believe that over 85 per cent of that number are from the north because in both the East and Western Nigeria, it is actually an offence not to send your children to school. But in northern Nigeria, the reverse is the case. Today, most of the child beggars in major streets city centres across Nigeria are from northern extraction.
Although well-meaning Nigerians have been preaching about the danger this sort of ‘so-called culture’ poses for Nigeria to no avail. As far as the north was concerned, it is a way of life until the dawn of the deadly Coronavirus (COVID-19), which has forced the 19 northern state governors to decide to abolish the ancient culture, which has led to massive attempts to escape the north to other regions of Nigeria. The incident in Cross Rivers has become a wake up call to other states outside the north.
The 120 Almajiri who attempted to enter Cross River State, it was gathered arrived on Saturday night through the Gakem – Benue border before they were intercepted by security operatives. The Commissioner for Youths and Skills Acquisition, Hon Signor Omang Idiege who spoke with journalists condemned the action of truck drivers that are involved in the nefarious activity.
He said two trucks brought in over 120 boys and girls as well as some adult men (without luggage) through the border areas into the State. The government he further disclosed immediately, ordered the return of the two loaded trucks as Cross Rivers have no room to accommodate kids from irresponsible parents. He wondered why a parent would push their under-aged children into the streets to go and beg to feed.
Describing Prof Ayade as a visionary leader, the Commissioner said the governor’s declaration of various COVID-19 control measures from day one, which includes the permanent lockdown of borders has kept the state out of this deadly virus and it is equally helping to trap the influx of the Almajiris into the state. He also thanked the Police, Civil Defence, Peace Corps, the vigilantes and the youths for their commitments to the fight, urging them to continue to step up their activities as the war against COVID-19 is not yet over until it is over.