Nasarawa Governor Bans ‘Almajiri’, Signs Anti-Kidnapping Bill

Governor of Nasarawa State, Engineer Abdullahi Sule has today (26-02-2020), signed into law the Child’s Right Protection Executive Order (2005), which effectively bans street begging (also referred to as Almajiri) across the state.

This took place in a ceremony which held at the Taal Conference Hotel. Lafia.

Also at the ceremony, the Governor signed into law, the state anti-kidnaping act as passed by the hallow chamber of Nasarawa State House of Assembly prescribing either life imprisonment or death penalty for convicted kidnapper.

Explaining further, the Governor said, the anti-kidnapping law spells out various offences relating to kidnapping, prescribing stringent punishment for perpetrators, while the child’s right protection order, apart from prohibiting street begging, provides punishment for parents who out of negligence, abandon their children to beg in the streets in order to survive.

He warned that any building used in keeping victims of kidnapping and other heinous crimes, will henceforth be forfeited to government.

The Governor however pointed out that the law banning street begging will only be implemented only after ways have been identified to address the menace of street begging by the Almajiri.

“This will guarantee the safety, security, wellbeing, care good health and education, as well as guarantee the future of our children,” the Governor said.

While noting that Nasarawa State has no problem with the Almajiri School System, the Governor however said the state will sanction parents who send their children to such schools from faraway places, only to abandon such children to take to street begging.

Earlier in his introductory remarks, State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Associate Professor Abdulkarim Abubakar Kana, said the current spate of kidnapping and related offences in the state has assumed alarming proportions.

Kana added that, in addition to efforts by the state government to combat crimes, the state House of Assembly, in its approach to issues touching on the lives of the ordinary people, passed the Nasarawa State Anti-Kidnapping Law 2019.
He further explained that the executive order on child’s right protection, was geared towards protecting children from exploitation and abuse, neglect, abandonment, while at the same time guaranteeing education for all.

The Commissioner for Justice added that the executive order will make for the full implementation of the Child’s Right Law in the state.

The event was attended by members of the Nasarawa State Executive Council, members of the State Security Council, Civil Society Groups, top government functionaries, as well as traditional rulers led by the Chairman of the Nasarawa State Council of Chiefs, the Emir of Lafia, HRH Justice Sidi Bage (Rtd).

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