Officials of the Kaduna State Government Task Force enforcing COVID-19 related regulations have rescued 160 children from locations neither authorised nor licensed as schools or children’s homes.
Special Adviser to the Governor Nasir El-Rufa’i on Media and Communication, Muyiwa Adekeye, who confirmed the development in a statement on Friday, said some of the rescued children are toddlers unable to properly identify themselves.
According to him, the rescued children are from 13 states in the north and south of Nigeria while others are from Benin Republic, Burkina Faso and Niger Republic.
He said the locations were operating in violation of regulations that had ordered the closure of all schools since December 2020.
“By keeping children in unauthorised places, the locations were also in contravention of KDSG land use regulations and inconsistent with the policy of repatriating almajirai to their states and local governments of origin to continue their education under the care of their parents, and in properly registered and regulated schools.
“Since March 2020, 31,092 almajiri children have been repatriated to their states of origin since the Northern Governors Forum decided to jointly end the abuses associated with the Almajiri system.
“As part of the implementation of this policy, Kaduna State has received 1,118 children from the state who were relocated from other states.
“In the latest round of this exercise conducted this week, operatives of the state task-force rescued 160 children whom they have sorted according to their state of origin as follows: Kebbi: 16, FCT Abuja: 2, Katsina: 15, Kano: 15, Zamfara: 8, Sokoto: 1, Nasarawa: 12, Niger: 5, Kwara: 4, Kogi: 2, Oyo: 2, Kaduna: 68, Niger Republic: 5, Burkina Faso: 3 and Benin Republic: 1.
“The children are being profiled, documented and subjected to health checks, including test for COVID-19 infections after which they will be transported to their states of origin and handed over to the relevant officials.”