Ondo State on Monday turned back a large number of almajiris who came into the state.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the children who were about 25 in number, were driven into the state by a truck driver.
Almajiris are children who are sent to go live with Islamic clerics from whom they learn about the religion. Thousands of them, however, end up as street children without access to education or health care.
The almajiris, according to police sources, walked through bush paths after entering the state to beat the blockades by security officials enforcing the lockdown directives, before reentering the truck after finding their way back to the expressway.
The state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, first raised the alarm of almajiris pouring in from northern states on Monday while he was updating residents on developments regarding the efforts of the government in curtailing the spread of the disease.
He had lamented the porousness of the entry points into the state, manned by security agencies in line with the restriction of movement order.
Mr Akeredolu had noted that “some states in the Northern Nigeria are already deploying almajiris to other parts of the country.” He, however, did not name the states where the alamajiris would be coming from.
He called on residents to be vigilant and report any unusual large population of young people imported to the state.
“As I said earlier, undesirable penetration at the borders and disregard for social distancing remain our low points,” he said. “Reports and daily briefing support these facts.”
A source at the 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.
Source: Premium times