Nasarawa State government has disclosed plans to return all the non-indigenous Almajiri children in the state who are below the age of 10, to their various state of origins.
The state Commissioner for Women Affairs, Halima Jabiru made the disclosure during a press conference after the State Executive Council meeting in Lafia, the state capital.
Mrs Jabiru noted that the state has about 63,000 Almajiris who are roaming the streets.
According to her, reuniting these kids to their parents would do a world of good to the society as a whole.
Recall that Governor Abdullahi Sule had issued an Executive Order prescribing 10 years imprisonment for parents whose children engaged in street begging in the state.
Mr Sule stated this during the signing into law the State Anti-Kidnapping Prohibiting Law 2020 and Child-Protection Executive Order.
The governor has also banned street begging in the state and said that government would upgrade the Tsangaya system by enrolling its students in public schools.
“Those currently begging will be taken off the streets and enroll in schools to make their lives worthwhile.
“It is only those who are currently begging on our streets that government will provide for, so any persons who bring children from other states again will be jail if caught,” he said.
Mr Sule said that government would not punish the children involved in begging, but would sanction the people who sent them to beg.
“Without sounding immodest, the order, apart from prohibition of street begging, provides punishment for parents who out of irresponsibility threw away their children for street begging,” he said.
He said that government was not against the Almajiri system, but it was against street begging under whatever guise.
Mr Sule said that the order was part of the implementation of the Child’s Right Protection Executive Order, 2005 of Nasarawa State pursuant to section 5 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended.
He, therefore, called on parents, Tsangaya instructors and stakeholders to comply with the order as violation would not be tolerated.