The Kano State Government on Friday said it has arrested and repatriated over 1,500 Almajiris back to their states and countries of origin, following a ban on street begging in the state.
The spokesperson of Hisbah, (the state’s moral police) Lawan Fagge, told PREMIUM TIMES that those arrested were repatriated to their states which includes: Katsina, Zamfara, Kebbi, Borno and Yobe states.
Mr Fagge said others are from Kano, Adamawa and neighboring countries of Chad and Niger Republic, adding that following the ban, some parents voluntarily withdrew their children from the streets.
Earlier, PREMIUM TIMES reported how the state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, announced the ban on street begging by children popularly referred to as Almajiris.
The official said Katsina has the highest numbers of the repatriated almajiris while Jigawa State has the least.
Among the arrested almajiris, about 70 per cent are children from the ages of seven and twelve, the official said.
He added that there are also old aged women who sees begging as a business, as even when their families provided all their needed necessities, they insisted on going out to beg.
According to the official, those in that category are over 400. We counselled them and handed them over to their families here in Kano, while others are repatriated back to their states, the official said.
“Those arrested children from Kano were classified. Those who can read and write the Holy Qur’an were identified awaiting further directives from his excellency the governor,” said Mr Fagge.
The official, however, acknowledged that the banning of the streets begging in the state is still facing a challenge because they are still currently debating other almajiri’s teachers who are against the ban.
The government’s decision to ban the children from street begging is meant to safeguard their future and make the society a better place for all, the spokesperson said.
The government said the effort was to fully consolidate the free and compulsory primary and Secondary Schools education in the state.
Also, the decision was meant to integrate the Almajiri System into the policy and address the lingering problem of street begging.