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West Africa

Kano: Ganduje breaks silence on Almajiri evacuation controversy

Accuses northern governors of politicising their returnees COVID positive status

Kano State Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has broken his silence on the controversy surrounding the evacuation of Almajiris, some of whom have tested positive for COVID- 19 upon arrival in their state of origin.

The Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El Rufai, has been raising alarm over the number of Almajiris from Kano confirmed positive for the novel coronavirus on their arrival in Kaduna.

Speaking, however, at a COVID-19 press briefing in Government House Kano on Sunday, Governor Ganduje said that he does not want to politicise the evacuation of the Almajiris like some of his contemporaries are supposedly doing.

“Yes, some of the Almajiris that were brought from other states to Kano State were confirmed positive for the virus, some of the Almajiris that were taken to other States were confirmed positive,” the governor remarked at the briefing.

“The only difference is that Kano State is not playing politics out of it and therefore did not come out to say that the children bought from Bauchi, brought from Plateau or brought from other States have tested positive,” he said, announcing that announcing the status of the Almajiris brought to Kano would serve no purpose because what was important was that they had been returned home and were taken to isolation facilities for medical attention.

“Certainly what they need is not publicity, what they need is attention because the infection had already taken place. So there is not we can do about that,” he stated

Governor Ganduje, who stressed that it was not the transportation of the Almajiris that infected them with the coronavirus, explained that “the Almajiris were already infected from the origin where they came from. Whether you transport them from another State or you leave them within your State, they are still infected.

“Probably, if not because of efforts to transport to other States, you wouldn’t even know that they were positive cases.”


Ganduje stated that Kano State has the largest number of Almajiris coming from all over the north and beyond, saying that it is against this background that his administration had decided to return repatriate them to their states of origin.

“Here in Kano, we make sure that the Almajiri system cannot continue as it was in the past. Those Almajiris from Kano State we are ready to put them in the boarding schools so that they can benefit from the conventional system of education and a deeper Islamic education,” he stated.

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