The house of representatives has asked the federal government to stop the relocation of almajiri kids to their home states.
At Tuesday’s plenary session, the lower legislative chamber argued that such an action is against the fundamental rights of the children.
This followed a motion sponsored by Aishatu Dukku of Dukku and Nafada constituency in Gombe state.
Usually, between the age of four and 15 years, the almajiri kids are put in the care of Islamic teachers who instruct them on Quranic knowledge.
Most of them end up begging for alms and food in their neighbourhoods as these teachers are often unable to meet their needs.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of governors, mostly in the north, have been returning almajiri children to their home states.
The lawmakers said the governors are subjecting the children to “untold hardship”.
“The nature and manner which they are being transported is dehumanising and has brought them pain and untold hardship,” they said.
They said some of the almajiri kids face rejection from their families and are left to suffer in the face of the pandemic.
They also said in the course of transporting them to their home states, the governors have breached the inter-state ban being enforced by the federal government.
The house, therefore, asked the presidential task force on COVID-19 to direct the state governors to stop repatriating the children and provide for their basic education instead.
They also asked the ministry of humanitarian affairs and disaster management to include the children among the beneficiaries of the palliatives being distributed to cushion the effects of the pandemic.