COVID-19: Almajirai need help, not punishment – Archbishop Kaigama
The Metropolitan Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, has urged Northern governors to develop comprehensive policies to address the plight of Almajiri children.
He noted that the children were victims of a poor system that need all the help they can get.
Kaigama disclosed this in an interview with Sunday Sun.
According to him, the north has continued to record high COVID-19 infection rates due to violations of social distancing and personal hygiene guidelines.
He explained that the almajirai were more prone to these as they have to move from place to place to be able to feed.
Reacting to why the north continues to record a high number of cases, Kaigama said, “Remember we talk of social distancing and that is not the case. In many cases, people are so crowded; so crowded in the markets, in the house. You find in a house, 10 people to a room or two which is not helpful.
“You heard of the Almajiri children who are on the move. These are promising young children who should be helped to develop and to contribute immensely to the progress and development of our country.
But they are roaming the streets in the name of religious practice, namely that you should go out and acquire religious knowledge. But to be taken away from the family and they are on the street, not sure of what to eat and nobody to give them some moral formation and orientation in life is quite sad.
So, the spread of such a disease is easier in such a climate where people are just moving aimlessly. They have no home, they have no food, they have to beg here and there; they have to enter houses to ask people for support and you spread that very fast. So, I can imagine this kind of sickness go with a degree of poverty and personal hygiene that is deficient. When you have a deficiency and personal hygiene, then it is easier to spread this virus all over the place.”