On Tuesday, April 21, 2020 Northern governors called for more COVID-19 testing centers to be made available in the northern part of the country, and they also banned the almajiri system for fear the children could be exposed to the virus. The Governors met for the second time in one month via teleconferencing, according to a press statement.
The meeting was presided over by the Northern States Governors Forum Chairman, Simon Lalong, the governor of Plateau state. In the last meeting, Governor Lalong informed his colleagues that based on their resolution at the last meeting, he had a discussion with President Muhammadu Buhari where he communicated the need for the region to access special funding, palliatives, testing centers and other forms of support to assist the region deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said that the President assured him of the support of the Federal Government within the context of Federal Government programs both under the coronavirus response and under other incentives to farmers and States.
In the meeting, they further discussed the issue of COVID-19 Testing Centres within the Northern Region where they noted some improvements, but still insisted that all States in the region should have at least one center in order to make the detection of the disease and its management easier and faster.
On border control and lockdown measures, the Northern Governors maintained their earlier decision for the states to individually decide on the measure to adopt but reaffirmed the need for border closures to stop the interstate spread of the disease, which is rising in the region.
The Governors also discussed the risk that Almajiri children are exposed to because of the pandemic. They unanimously decided to totally ban the Almajiri system and place the children with their parents or transfer them to their states of origin.
They agreed to take a cue from Kano, Kaduna and Nasarawa States who have begun returning Almajiri children to their families and their states of origin. However, those within their States who do not have parents are taken care of by the Government.
They determined to discontinue the Almajiri system because of the social challenges associated with it including the perpetuation of poverty, illiteracy, insecurity, and social disorder.
Hattip to ChannelsTv