The National Publicity Secretary of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Uche Achi-Okpaga, says the relocation of almajiri kids from the North was the region’s way of shifting its problem to the southern part of the country known for relative peace.
There have been dusts over the decision of the Northern Governors’ Forum (NGF) to scrap the Almajiri system and consequently return the kids to their respective home states to combat spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Rather than settling down in their home states, however, there had been reported influx of the kids into the south.
Some states in the southern part of the country had on different occasions intercepted many of the kids loaded in trucks despite the ongoing ban on inter-state travel.
Speaking in an interview with PUNCH, Achi-Okpaga wondered why the north seemed desperate in relocating the kids after neglecting them for several years.
His words: “As an apex Igbo social-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze is worried about the influx of Almajirai to southern Nigeria.
“However, it is a multifaceted problem. You remember that it was during the administration of Goodluck Jonathan that schools were built for Almajirai. The northerners were in power all the while and they never thought of it.
“Even after Jonathan built the schools for them, they did not envisage that in the near future the Almajirai would become a very big problem to the North. I think this is an orchestrated game plan.
“The Almajirai are moving in large number and travelling in trucks and buses. The question you should ask is who are those people providing those buses? The Almajirai we know don’t have money and they cannot afford to travel to far places in buses.
“So who are those providing the buses that are used to transport them within and outside the north? That is the question. The leaders of the North are aware that the Almajirai question has become a problem and they want to shift the burden to other places where people have been able to mind their business and manage their populations well.”