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Zamfara governor, NGO rescued stranded 16-year-old almajiri from Mali

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But for his intervention, the Zamfara State Governor, Bello Muhammed Matawallen Maradun, the life of a 16-year-old boy would have remained in jeopardy and uncertainty. The Barden Hausa and Shettiman Sokoto, played a major role in finding out about the condition and safe return of Fatihu Muhammed Tukur, who was stranded in Mali for over four years.

Tukur, who hails from Kaura Namoda Local Government Area of Zamfara State, was taken to Kaulaha, Senegal to pursue Islamic education. But after arriving the area and finding it unattractive to ply his trade there, young Tukur absconded from his Arabic School in Kaulaha Senegal and trekked to Mali, a journey which took him five months to reach Mali.

Tukur was suffering and left on his own while he struggled to find his feet in the foreign land. He was a shadow of himself. But once the fate of the young lad was made known to him, the Zamfara State governor moved into action to bring him back to his fatherland.

Perhaps, his condition would have remained unknown if not for the information that was provided by a non-governmental organisation, Child Protection Network. The NGO relayed the information about the boy’s fate to the governor and requested for urgent intervention to rescue him.

While presenting the boy to the governor, the Zamfara State Coordinator of Child Protection Network, Alhaji Bachiri Sarkin Fulani Bungudu, explained that Fatihu Muhammed Tukur, would not have been seen and rescued without the active support of the state government working with his organisation.

Bungudu said the report of the whereabouts of the boy was communicated through Zamfara State Office of Child Protection Network which liaised effectively with the Zamfara State Ministry of Women, Children and Social Development for possible repatriation of the young boy from Mali.

The coordinator added that the efforts of the organisation in ensuring the safe return of Fatihu Muhammed Tukur were supported by the state government and other stakeholders both in Mali and Nigeria.

While receiving the boy, Governor Matawallen Maradun expressed appreciation to the Zamfara State CPN and the women affairs ministry for working tirelessly to bring back the young boy to be reunited with his family. The governor, however, expressed dismay over the attitude of some parents who take their children abroad in the name of Islamic studies without having adequate arrangements for their stay.

He said the trend is contributing immensely to poor upbringing of children and breeding of social vices by the children instead of the education they are seeking for.

Governor Bello Matawalle directed that proper counselling be given to the boy in order to ascertain his health status before being reunited with his parents. The governor pledged to support the boy to pursue both Western and Islamic education.

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