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COVID-19: Ondo returns lorry-load of almajiris back to Sokoto

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NOT less than 25 almajiris coming into Ondo State from Sokoto has been sent back.

  The intercepted almajiris set out to enter Ondo State through Kogi which shares border with Ondo.

  Lamenting the influx of almajiris into the state, Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, raised the alarm of almajiris pouring in from northern states while giving an update on the government’s efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.

  The governor had noted that some northern states are already deploying almajiris to other parts of the country and called on residents to report any unusual large population of young people imported to the state. 

  He decried the porosity of entry points into Ondo State which has given rise to their entrance undetected despite being manned by security agencies in line with the restriction of movement order.

  Report credited to Ondo State government house hinted that the government got the information on the movement of the almajiris and notified the security agencies to swiftly ensure they were not allowed.

  According to undisclosed source from the Ondo State Government House, “We cannot allow them in they have to return to where they are coming from. The government already had the information and that led the governor to make the statement on the matter.”

  Confirming the development, the Police Public Relations Officer, Ondo State Command, Tee Leo-Ikoro, stated that a group of young men were intercepted and taken out of the state. The police spokesman explained that the young men who were coming from Sokoto State had come in through Kogi State which shares boundaries with Ondo.

  “We took them back to the boundary between Ondo and Kogi, because they said they came through a village in Kogi State. We have to take them back to the boundary and asked them to return to Sokoto.”

  Meanwhile, reports of over 100 almajiris said to have been hidden in a food truck; intercepted by officials of the Abia State homeland security on the Abia-Enugu borders and their (almajiris) subsequent send back to their respective states dominated media platforms yesterday.

  The Federal Government through the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 during briefing on Monday raised an eyebrow against the continuous repatriation of kid beggars popularly known as almajiris, saying it is a violation of guidelines issued by President Muhammadu Buhari on inter-state movement ban amidst coronavirus crisis.

  According to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and PTF Chairman, Boss Mustapha,”government will engage the states on the process for the repatriation of almajiris.”

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