The coalition of Northern governors on Tuesday, April 21; expressed their unanimous support for the ban on the Almajiri system in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
At the meeting presided by the Northern States Governors Forum Chairman, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau state; the governors also called for more coronavirus testing centres in the north
The Governors met for the second time in one month via teleconferencing, according to a press statement.
According to the statement, Lalong explained he had a discussion with President Muhammadu Buhari where he conveyed their concerns on the need for the region to access special funding, palliatives, testing centres and other forms of support; to assist the region deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
He said the President assured him of the support of the Federal Government within the context of Federal Government programmes; both under the coronavirus response and under other incentives to farmers and States.
The meeting further discussed the issue of COVID-19 Testing Centres within the Northern Region where it noted some improvement.
However, it was expressed that all States in the region should have at least one centre; in order to make the detection of the disease and its management easier and faster.
On border control and lockdown measures, the Northern Governors retained their earlier decision for the states to individually decide on the measure to adopt; but reaffirmed the need for border closures to stop inter-state spread of the disease, which is rising in the region.
They unanimously decided to totally ban the Almajiri system and evacuate the children to their parents or states of origin.
This process would be achieved by taking a cue from Kano, Kaduna, and Nasarawa States who have begun returning Almajiri children to families and states of origin; while those within their States who do not have parents are taken care of by the Government.
Also, the coalition vowed never to allow the system persist any longer; because of the social challenges associated with it including the perpetuation of poverty, illiteracy, insecurity and social disorder.