From Idris Ahmed, Lafia.
Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule has expressed disappointment over the management of the Lafia Incubation Centre meant to train jobless youths from across the state.
Engineer Sule expressed his displeasure while on an inspection tour of the facility, located along Makurdi road in Lafia, on Friday.
A visibly disturbed Engineer Sule, directed the General Manager of the centre, Idris Ibrahim, to report to Government House for a review of activities at the Incubation Centre, alongside top management staff of the centre.
The Governor expressed dismay over the way the centre is being ran, especially regarding the training of jobless youths in the state.
He particularly kicked against a situation where the facility merely provided free shops to individuals to carry out their personal business, to the detriment of the purpose of setting up the centre.
Engineer Sule, who lamented that the entrepreneurs presently operating in the centre, lacked the required capacity in terms of procuring required machinery and tools, to enable them train the youths, directed the General Manager to ensure only competent entrepreneurs are allowed access to the centre.
It would be recalled that while commissioning the centre last September that was constructed in collaboration with the National Board for Technology Incubation, the Governor said the centre will go a long way in availing unemployed youths opportunity to engage in meaningful ventures for self-reliance.
Engineer Sule stated that his administration is committed to ensuring that the teeming youths of the state acquire the best technical and vocational skills to meet up with challenges of a technology based economy.
Bauchi To Establish Environmental Science Laboratory As NESREA DG Pays Advocacy Visit
Bauchi State Governor, Alhaji Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed of on Friday said about 40 million naira has been earmarked for the establishment of Environmental Science Laboratory in the state.
The Governor announced this when the Director General of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, (NESREA) Professor Aliyu Jauro paid him an advocacy visit at the Government House Bauchi.
In a statement signed and issue by Muktar Gidado, Senior Special Assistant on Media, said Governor Bala Mohammed said the proposed environmental science laboratory would serve as a centre for testing of environmental issues and welcomed partnership with the Agency for the smooth take off of the laboratory.
The Governor said his administration will use science and technology in tackling environmental challenges in the state in addition to the policy already developed on zero tolerance to environmental sanitation.
“On behalf of the Government and people of Bauchi state, we are very pleased to receive you today on this important visit because of the important we attached to environmental sustainability in Bauchi which is one of the Goals of SDGs.”
“We are in the process of establishing our own environmental science laboratory in Bauchi state at the cost of about 40 million naira to serve as a centre for testing, I am very familiar with the importance of this NESREA having participated in the formulation of its creation.”
Governor Bala Mohammed who declared total commitment and interest to work in active synergy with the Agency, said the state government will also focus on free disaster activities to mitigate the impact of flooding.
Earlier, the Director General of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, (NESREA) Professor Aliyu Jauro said building a viable partnership with the Bauchi State Government will benefit both NESREA and the state government, believing that, success stories from such partnerships can become a model which can be replicated in other states of the federation.
The Director General said the vision of the Agency is to ensure a cleaner and healthier environment for the all Nigerians while its mission is to inspire personal and collective responsibility in building an environmentally conscious society for the achievement of sustainable development in Nigeria.
“Let me seize this opportunity to heartily appreciate the State Government for deeming it necessary to provide an office accommodation to our Agency. I want to assure you that this singular gesture has positioned the Agency to effectively discharge her duties in the state.
According to him, having recognized the seriousness of environmental problems in the past decade, the Nigerian Government has evolved steps in addressing them through institutional set-up and policy formulations.
Gov Bello Describes Akowe Passage As One Loss Too Much In Kogi, Grace Burial Procession
Following the demised of former Dekina Local Government Council Boss, His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello of kogi state, on Saturday was ably represented by the Deputy Governor, Chief Edward Onoja at the burial procession of late Dekina Local Government Chairman and All Progressives Congress stakeholder, Chief Adejoh Akowe at his country home, Abocho, in Dekina LGA.
A press statement signed and made available by Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy Governor, Emanuel Promise, said the burial which harvested troupes of mourners who came to pay their last respect to the deceased was an emotional moment for all.
According to the statement, the Deputy Governor conveyed the condolences of the Governor, in his words ” “His Excellency the Governor sent me to commiserate with his wife and children, stating that this is one loss too much in Kogi state”.
He continued, “We would not dwell on who killed who. There is Jajah, there is Samaila, there is Chief Edime and others. Do we continue this trend? Adejoh Akowe did not die of COVID19. It is a fall of moral decadence in the fabric of the Igala kingdom. It is very alien to the Igala Kingdom.”
This is not a PDP or APC problem but a society problem that which is a challenge that we must strongly attend to.
It starts from the family setting which says one should train a child in the way of the lord so he will not depart from it”.
Extolling the virtues of Adejo, he remarks: “I have known Adejoh Akowe dating 2006/2007 when he was Operations manager at Guarantee Trust Bank, Lokoja.
He was a humble man whose yes was yes and no was no. He is not a two faced human being. He is not a double timer.
The devil and his agents have done their worst, but may them live forever”.
Revealing the message of the Governor, he says “His Excellency has promised from 2021 academic session to support his children with their schooling”.
He charged the people of Dekina to find a positive change going forward, in his words “Let the death of Adejoh Akowe be turn around in Dekina. If it is the only honor Dekina people will do him that we never hear of deaths in of this kind in the LGA again”, he said.
Consoling his siblings, he says “To his siblings, we will not turn back from your family even in death”.
He also commented on the year 2020, stating” 2020 has been a devastating year for me. Just within 24 hours, this should be the 4th burial I am attending. May God give us the grace to stay alive”.
He continued “And as many that are projecting 2023, dont forget the parable of the rich fool, which I also believe is in the Quran. He stored plenty for the future but the owner of life decided to call him home that night.
May we all live to see 2021″.
Present at the burial are sons and daughters of Dekina LGA, which includes the Senator Representing Kogi East Senatorial District, Distinguished Sen. Jubril Echocho, The House of Representatives member representing Dekina/Bassa, Hon. Hassan Abdullahi Baiwa, Kogi East APC Zonal Chairman, Hon. Ahmedi Attah, current Assembly Member of Dekina State Constituency, Hon. Enema Paul, State Assembly Member representing Olamaboro State Constituency, Hon. Bobby Alewo Ujah, Member Representing Ankpa State Constituency, Hon. Momoh Rabiu Alfa, The State Auditor General, Hon. Yakubu Okala, The Commissioner for Rural Development, Hon. One Ejigbo, The Special Adviser on Project Monitoring, Hon. Usman Ochidi, the Chief Press Secretary to the Kogi State Governor, Hon. Onogwu Muhammed, Federal Civil Servant,Elder Obolo Okpanachi, the APC Flag Bearer and former SSA on Security to Dekina LGA, Hon. Shaibu Okolo, Former Dekina LGA Chairman, Hon. Mohammed Ali, the Ogohi Onu Anyigba, HRH Alhaji Abu Shaibu Okolo, Onu Abocho, HRH, Tijani Okutachi, The Acting Rector of Kogi State Polytechnic, Dr. Usman Ogbo, the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Niger State, Prof. Sam Egwu, the Igala Socio-Cultural Development Association President, political functionaries, other party stalwarts, friends of the deceased, well wishers and others.
Dramatic Return Of Almajirai To Streets Despite Ban
Following the outbreak of COVID-19 in Nigeria early this year, governors of the 19 northern states banned the ‘Almajirai from the streets and embarked on the repatriation of thousands of ‘Almajiri’ from the streets back to their state of origins.
However, few months after the ban and repatriation, the Almajirai are back to the street.
In Kaduna, our correspondent reports that few Almajirai were seen moving around the metropolis in search of food.
The Almajirai who are mostly children between ages 5-10 usually visit business centres and offices to beg.
Although, their number is not as much as they were before the ban which means they are also being very careful as they move around.
Also, these children now approach people to beg for alms without their usual bowls, apparently to avoid attracting the attention of the authorities.
Checks showed that most of the major almajirai schools in communities like Tudun Wada, Askolaye , Hayin Malam Bello New Extension, Kawo and others within the metropolis were empty with only a few adults still around.
10-year-old Musa Tanko said that his teacher brought him back two months ago. According to him, they lived in Rigasa community of Igabi Local Government Area of the state.
“We were sent back home when the government said all almajirai should return to their villages. We just came back two months ago. Only few of us were brought back though,” he said.
Another teenage almajiri who simply identified himself as Sanusi said they have been in the state despite the ban.
He said only the minors among them were evacuated back to their home states by their clerics.
“As for us, we have been in the state but we are not begging. I usually travel home occasionally to see my parents too.
Similarly, another 10-year-old boy, Shafi’u Musa said his parents returned him to Kaduna.
“We are from Igabi Local Government Area but my parents sent me back to continue with my knowledge in the city. But we are not much in my school that returned,” he said
‘We are Aware’
The Commissioner of Human Development and Social Services, Hajiya Hafsat Baba confirmed that her ministry was aware that some of the children were returning to the streets.
She blamed some of the Malams whom she said were secretly returning the children from the rural areas to continue as beggars.
“We are aware that some of them have started returning to the city; in fact, as we speak, we have arrested 18 of them and they will be evacuated to Soba Local Government Area of the state where they came from.
“We blame their Malams because they depend on these children to go and get money for them through begging, that is why they are secretly bringing them back.
“Also, some of the parents of these children too should be blamed because they still send their children to those scholars as Almajirai”, she said.
The commissioner further added that henceforth, the ministry has resolved that anybody arrested returning these children to the state will be punished, adding that the law banning the system was still enforced across the state.
In Bauchi, hundreds of Almajirai could be seen roaming the streets begging for alms and food across towns and cities in Bauchi State.
Our correspondent, who monitored the situation, observed there has been an increase in the number of the Almajirai in various markets, motor parks and the roadside.
A large number of Almajirai could be seen clutching their plates around the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Wunti Roundabout and other locations in Bauchi metropolis.
12-year-old Almajiri, Salim Mohammed said that he was repatriated to his village in Soro Ganjuwa LGA during the last Ramadan alongside hundreds of his colleagues but was brought back by his elder brother.
“I am in the Markaz of Shehi along the Bauchi-Gombe road and during the Ramadan, our Malam, Malam Yusufa return us back to our parents’ houses and after sometimes, we returned back to the school. It was my father who instructed my senior brother to return me to Bauchi,” he said.
Isiaka Ahmadu, 13-year-old almajiri, said, his parents brought him back from Yobe to Bauchi some months back to continue his Qur’anic education at Malam Shuaibu Islamiyya school in Sabon Layi area of Bauchi.
“I was not part of repatriated Almajirai because during the period, I was at home helping my father to clear his farmland in preparation for the rainy season and after we finished planting the crops, my father took me back to Bauchi”, he said.
Ahmadu explained that there were many students who returned to the school after they were repatriated and continued with their routine exercise at the school.
The influx of children in Bauchi our correspondent learnt might not be unconnected with the position of proprietors of Tsangaya Schools under the leadership of a renowned Islamic Scholar, Sheikh Dahiru Usman Bauchi, who had opposed the ban of the Almajiri system by northern governors.
He described the move as a “callous, discriminatory and a conspiracy against Qur’anic knowledge.”
Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi said children have rights to choose to live anywhere they want to live.
“We are Nigerians; we have rights under the laws of the land to live where ever we want to live and to practice our religion. Qur’anic Pupils and their teachers have these rights and henceforth, we will not accept violations of our rights in the name of banning Almajiranci and evacuation of our pupils from place to another like stray animals, we will not accept it and we disagree with any law that will contravene our rights,” he said.
Ban still in force
Meanwhile, the Bauchi State government has reiterated its position on the ban of Almajiris roaming the street, saying that the government was only against child begging and not acquisition of Qur’anic knowledge.
Governor Bala Mohammed stated this recently during the graduation ceremony held at the Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi Qur’anic schools at Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Bauchi.
Represented by the State’s Commissioner for Education, Dr Aliyu Usman Tilde, the governor cleared the air about government aversion to child begging in the name of Almajirci, saying he was not against the Qur’an but an effort to avert child abuse.
“Our goal is to eradicate begging and give every child the right to grow with his parents or under a caring custodian, as the Sheikh is doing to his children and others in his schools; helping them to gain both Qur’anic and Western education.
“This, we believe, will make them more useful citizens of the country, possessing both left and right hands, as the Sheikh once put 30 years ago,” he said.
In Kano, our correspondent reports that the almajirais were still seen in their numbers across many parts of the state despite the ban by the government.
They could be seen moving around the city begging for alms and doing menial work for a living.
Although, the number of almajirai currently on the streets has reduced compared to what used to be the case in the past.
An Almajiri who roams the street of Gandun Albasa around Zoo Road in Kano, Kamalu Tsalha said he was not aware of the ban on street begging in the state.
“I don’t know that government has banned begging or is arresting beggars. I don’t carry a bowl to beg as you can see and I’m only out today because today (Friday) is school-free day.
We only roam on Thursdays and Fridays, and work for people to be paid; I personally hardly beg for food,” he said.
Another almajiri who identified himself as Sabo said many of his colleagues have already been evacuated to their states of origin by their parents.
“Some have been deported by the state government since the outbreak of COVID-19, while some were evacuated by their parents. In fact, the few of us left here don’t beg as we used to do,” Sabo said.
The Kano State government this year banned street begging by the Almajirai children and vowed to integrate the indigene Almajirai children into special schools while non indigenes were repatriated to their respective states of origin.
Available statistics showed that no fewer than 1,500 Almajiri’s were repatriated to their states of origin from Kano while the state has received 1,178.
The State’s Commissioner for Education, Muhammad Sunusi Kiru said government was in a final push to move Almajiri children from the streets to put an end to street begging in the state.
“Those from Kano State, we have provided enough facilities to accommodate them for their Qur’anic studies and formal education.
“We are going to enroll all of them from Kano origin while those from other states will be taken to their states,” he said.
He said the state government has approved the sum of N159 million for the rehabilitations of three Almajiri boarding schools where the children who are from the state will be housed.
Kiru said the schools are located in Kanwa, Madobi LGA; Bunkure in Bunkure LGA and Kiyawa in Bagwai Local Government Area.
He said the three new schools will bring to 15, the total number of Almajiri integrated schools in the state.
On Thursday, June 11, 2020, Katsina State government banned street begging across the state just as Islamiyya and Almajiri schools were asked to remain closed.
The secretary to the State Government, Dr Mustapha Inuwa in a statement said the decisions were reached after a review in a meeting involving the government, security chiefs, Islamic religious leaders, Ulamas, members of the State COVID-19 Emergency and Response Committee and other stakeholders, held at General Muhammadu Buhari House.
He said, anybody found begging in the street will be arrested and his tutor or parents will face full wrath of the law.
While the order for the closure of the schools was still in force, the governor had directed security agents to arrest and bring to book, defaulters.
However the Almajirais have returned to the streets and their routine activities of begging fully resumed.
Our correspondent learnt that there was a committee set up by the state government through the office of the Secretary to the State Government, to look into the matter.
When contacted, the chairman of the committee, who is also the Special Assistant to Governor Masari on Employment, Hussaini Adamu Karaduwa, said the committee was through with its findings on the matter and had submitted to the office of the SSG.
In Plateau State, there seems to be a resurgence of Almajiri on the streets of Jos, the state capital even though they are not as many as they were before they were evacuated in April this year.
On April 11, the state government through the Secretary to the Government of the State, Danladi Atu, announced the commencement of evacuation of the Almajiri pupils from the 17 LGAs to their states of origin.
Our correspondent who visited Parargada Market, Bauchi Road, and Terminus, on Thursday, reports that a few of the Almajiris could be seen roaming around.
Usman Ibrahim, an Almajiri said he had not gone anywhere even when some of his mates were returned home.
“Since the ban on street begging, I have not been out to as far as Terminus area for fear of being arrested,” he said (Daily Trust)
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