The Kaduna state government has arrested a cleric for allegedly keeping young girls as almajiris, evacuates 327 children including 17 girls in the ancient city of Zaria, Kaduna state.
According to the state government, the 327 children including 17 girls were evacuated out of 500 other children from the mud house where the children are accommodated as a boarding school.
Kaduna state Commissioner for Human Development and Social Services, Hajiya Hafsat Mohammed Baba, disclosed this in an interview with Blueprint.
She said the 17 almajirai girls evacuated, who are between the ages of 8 – 10, were mixed up with other older boys in the same house.
The Commissioner, who described the situation as unislamic, blamed the parent of the girls for keeping their daughters with the cleric. She gave the name of the Malam as Aliyu Maikwari who originated in Dakingari town of Kebbi state but resides in Zaria.
“When I was told, I couldn’t believe it until I saw the pictures. Young girls not more than 8-10 year old were mixed up with these boys and they live in Zaria.
“We were able to evacuate 327 out of the 500 children in the house because he was so stubborn. We had to use Operation Yaki to arrest him. We also understand that he gives out these girls for marriage. So, he is in Kaduna now under investigation. Ministry of Justice will continue from there,” she said.
The Commissioner wondered how the cleric will keep girls and boys as almajirai, “this is disturbing and unislamic. What is he teaching them. Accommodating girls and boys and he doesn’t even have a dormitory to separate them,”
“For even the parents that keep their children with this Malam all the away from Kebbi state because he is from Dakingari to come to Kaduna without knowing their welfare or how they eat etc is really worrying,” Hajiya Hafsat said.
She said the cleric was arrested as part of the state government’s operation to evacuate almajirai from the state back to their parents in an effort to curtail the spread of Covid-19 in the state.