HomeAnalysisAlmajiri repatriation worsening COVID-19 spread

Almajiri repatriation worsening COVID-19 spread

THE repatriation of Almajiris from most Northern States could worsen the spread of COVID-19, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) said on Monday.

Some Almajirai have tested positive for COVID-19 after returning to their states of origin.

โ€œThe deportation of Almajiri children across many states in Nigeria has given rise to active mobility of COVID-19 cases,โ€ the organised labour said.

NLC and TUC are part of the Labour-Civil Society Situation Room on COVID-19, which includes affiliate unions and professional groups.

NLC President Ayuba Wabba and TUC President Quadri Olaleye, in a statement after their meeting, noted that the absence of sector-specific guidelines on the lockdown relaxation has led to overcrowding at public places such as banks and markets.

โ€œThe Situation Room observed the absence of uniform strategy and response among states and a mix of conflicting responses between the Federal Government and the sub-national governments.

โ€œThe rash of conflicting responses and approaches to the COVID-19 pandemic by state governments should be addressed.

โ€œWe call on the Nigeria Governors Forum to issue a set of overarching guidelines on issues of common interest to states while allowing individual states to deal with peculiar nuances that affect them,โ€ they said.

According to them, the number of testing centres and kits for COVID-19 are inadequate.

โ€œNigeria has so far tested about 22,492 people, a number that still lags that of other African countries,โ€ the Situation Room said.

Also on Monday, Kano State said over 1, 213 Almajirai have been repatriated to their states of origin.

Almajiri Evacuation Committee Chairman Alhaji Murtala Sule Garo added that Kano has so far received over 200 Almajirai returnees from Kaduna, Plateau and Niger states.

Garo, who is also the Commissioner for Local Government, said the committee worked with the Ministry of Health to ensure that the Almajirai taken out of Kano were screened and in good health.

In Delta State, a truck conveying 13 persons from Yobe State was stopped at Ologbo, a boundary between Delta and Edo states.

Governor Ifeanyi Okowaโ€™s security aide, Ezekiel Daniel, along with a team of the Stateโ€™s COVID-19 Taskforce, turned back the truck.

Daniel told our reporter that the travellers claimed they were coming from Yobe to join their colleagues who deal in cattle.

He wondered how they crossed several states to make it to that point.

โ€œThey lied that they were coming to take care of their cows. Some political leaders are allowing potential carriers of COVID-19 from their region to go to other parts of the country. It is so unfortunate.

โ€œThese people want to jeopardise the laudable efforts of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa. But we will not allow unscrupulous elements to jeopardise his efforts,โ€ Daniel said.

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