The Kano State Government has announced that it has rescued 19 children from the custody of Du Merci Orphanage Home located at Nomansland, Kano.
The government said the orphanage was operating illegally.
A statement issued on Wednesday by Fatima Dala, a special adviser to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje on child welfare and women mobilization, said the children have been transferred to Nassarawa orphanage home owned by the state government.
According to her, the orphanage was reportedly registered as a non-governmental organization and not as an orphanage, despite being in operation as an orphanage for over 25 years.
She said for an orphanage to remain unregistered for over 25 years, it is a clear indication of dishonesty and threat to the safety of innocent children.
The aide said the founder of the facility, Solomon Richard, has been arrested and will be prosecuted.
“This is a serious issue and it is a height of perceived disregard by the founders and operators of the centre to the constituted authorities. For such orphanage to remain unregistered for over 25 years has apparently constituted a suspicious element of dishonesty which could translate into an offence against the inviolability and safety of the innocent children in the state.
“The operation of this orphanage in Kano, must however not be given any religious coloration, regional or ethnic face, and therefore should not be interpreted as such. And every well-meaning Nigerian should follow the queue in condemning this practice and culture which would invariably be seen as a potential and heinous action against the wellbeing of our children.
“We are yet in the shock over the kidnapping and recent rescue of some Kano children. Therefore the Kano State Government would not condone any act or suspicious activity like that of Du Merci Orphanage, which has a tendency of putting the lives of our children in jeopardy or inflict harm on them,” Mrs Dala said.
Her statement was in reference to the November 11, 2019 rescue by the police of nine kids who were kidnapped in Kano and sold in Anambra State.
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The children, aged between two and 10 years, were said to have been kidnapped from various locations within the Kano State capital.
Eight suspects were arrested in connection with the kidnapping and trafficking of the children.
Mrs Dala commended security agencies for their role in rescuing the children and appealed to people to report any suspicious conduct of child caregivers to the police, NAPTIP, Hisbah, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development or her office for necessary action.