COVID-19: Almajiri Boy Drowns While Trying To Escape Taskforce In Kaduna

An Almajiri boy has reportedly drowned while he was hiding from a COVID-19 task force put in place by the Kaduna State government.

According to Daily Trust, the task force is charged with the duty of evacuating all Almajiri from the state as a precautionary measure against the spread of the coronavirus.

The Almajiri boy, it was gathered, hid by his 74-year-old Malam, Umar Musa Mai Kalanzir, around River Kaduna axis of popular Kabala West, Kaduna South Local Government area of the State when he met his death.

The Kaduna state government had announced the closure of all schools, including Tsangaya (Islamic) schools and directed that all Almajiri be returned to their parents.

The development led to evacuation of 20,731 Almajiri from Kaduna town on March 30th, 2020.RL

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The Commissioner, Ministry of Human Services and Social Development, Kaduna State, Hafsat Baba, expressed sadness while reacting to the boy’s death

She said some Malams had refused to comply with the state government’s order or present their pupils for evacuation, adding that: “To escape our operations, some have resorted to hiding their pupils, including locking them up in small rooms or taking them to remote locations away from the Tsangaya school.

“KDSG feared that this may endanger the pupils and has been deploying strategies to save these pupils. Alaramma Umar Musa Mai Kalanzir, claimed he had sent all his pupils back to their parents, unfortunately, this tragic events showed otherwise.”

“We will prosecute the Alaramma and seek the maximum punishment ascribed by the law for his crimes, this will not be allowed to go unpunished.

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“Going forward, we will double down on all operators of these Tsangaya as no life is unimportant to us. The KDSG will not allow children’s lives to be endangered. By this statement, any Alaramma caught attempting to hid his pupils will be arrested and prosecuted immediately.

“The KDSG will also release guidelines of the minimum requirements to operate a Tsangaya in Kaduna State. This has been in the works but with current findings, no one will be allowed to operate a Tsangaya in the State until full compliance to these minimums are ensured,” she added.

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