Ahead of the March 28 and April 11 polls, the director general, Media and Publicity of Kaduna State governor, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero has raised the alarm that some selfish politicians in the state are planning to use the street beggars (almajiris) to perpetrate violence during the elections in the state.
He however said that the state government has already put in place measures that would ensure that no almajiri is allowed into the state from the neighbouring states before, during and after the elections.
Maiyaki stated this at the weekend when he briefed members of the correspondent chapel on the state of affairs of the state, including the achievements of the Governor Yero led administration.
He lamented that there was high influx of almajiri in Kaduna State because the state is bordered by about seven states, adding that majority of the street beggars would be sent packing by the state government to avoid them being used as tool to cause mayhem during the elections in the state.
He pointed out the states that bordered Kaduna to include Kano, Niger, Zamfara, Plateau, Nassarawa, and Katsina, saying that these are the states that feed Kaduna with the almajiris.
He said, “Almajiris are agents of destruction in the hands of desperate politicians, and I agree that these people are ready tools for selfish politicians and individuals to use them during, either, politicking or otherwise to achieve their selfish interest.
“And as you may be aware, Kaduna is bordered by about seven states and government as you are aware has taken steps to address the issue of almajiri in Kaduna State.
“But the issue is, it is so sad and that is where I want to urge the media that we have a critical role to play because it is a major problem not only to us but to the entire nation because while they are making it look religious, there is nothing religious or Islamic about the almajiri. Infact, it is un-Islamic.
“It is a societal challenge because Kaduna is bordered by about seven states and while government is addressing the issue in Kaduna, you have people coming from other states to come and over-stretch the policy and intervention of government.
“So you have a lot of people trooping into Kaduna. So to address it, it must be joint effort, when you address it in Kaduna, you will address it Katsina and other surrounding states.
“The state government must work with these various states to address this challenge. Some of these peoples are not even Nigerians. And as we speak a lot of them are being deported back to their countries.
“Though not peculiar to Kaduna alone but the nation because majority of these people form part of the challenges we have as a people. So the state government is working and not unmindful of addressing such issues.
“And government is also working with critical stakeholders such as civil society groups, Malams and even the media to avoid wasted effort and aimed at addressing the challenge that has become a major social menace to our society.
“We are all aware that the Federal government on its part has carried out issue of Almajiri schools and the state government is also addressing the issue on its own part. For the first time, a provision was made in the Ministry of Women Affairs to take care of the rehabilitation of these people.”