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Kebbi State in Nigeria aims to be first in halting ‘almajiri’ street begging

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Kebbi, a state north west Nigeria says it is going to take the bold step of ending the almajiri system as means of ending out of school children syndrome for which the state ranks as one of the highest offenders.

The commissioner, for Religious Affairs, Arch Muhammad Sani Aliyu, made this revelation on Monday during the weekly press briefing organised by the ministry of information and culture in Birnin Kebbi.

The commissioner said the measure is part of ongoing efforts by the state government to address the menace of street and under age almajiri syndrome.

He added that, the ministry is carrying out demography of almajiri schools in the state to identify age, various states origins and living conditions of their parents with a view to taking strict measures against defaulters which include seeking legalisation to ban under age begging and sending almajiris to local malams without food items from the parents.

Almajiri in the North of Nigeria are principally child beggers attached to Islamic teachers.

Aside swelling the ranks of out of school children predominantly in the North, the system has been linked to many social menaces including providing veritable grounds for terrorism.

The state government is also looking to reduce vagrancy in Kebbi.

As such, under the ministry for religious affairs, Hisbah Unit, it has confirmed the stabilisation of no fewer than twenty three thousand, five hundred and fourty two(23,542) persons with mental retardation and other brains anomalies.

The commissioner noted that the treatment which knows no tribe and religion is a continuous health outreach where patients from other states and neighbouring countries comes for treatment free of charge, they include leprosy, epilepsy and other mental disorders.

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