Igbawase Ukumba in Lafia
Governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Sule, has revealed that about 10 million children operating the Almajiri system of education in the northern part of Nigeria are beggars, who spend all times on the streets.
Consequently, the governor sounded a warning to parents, who give birth to children without taking care of them, and instead, subject them to begging in the name of Almajiri, to desist completely from it or face sanction from his government.
He stated that the Almajiri system of education is completely misunderstood, same way the Ruga project, which he said came with good potential, was misunderstood by Nigerians, and the government has to back out.
The governor stated this at the weekend when he appeared on Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) programme ‘Weekend File’, where he bore his mind on the concept of Almajiri system of education in Nigeria.
According to him, “the government must establish that it is a crime to abuse a child. It is a crime to bring children to this world and send them to Almajiri system where you cannot take care of them.
“It is a crime to send children to the street to beg. That is what we are trying to do. Parents must take responsibility of their wards. You can’t bring children to this world and dump them somewhere and expect somebody else to take care of them. So parents must not shy away from responsibility.”
Sule explained that in the state where Almajiri system has become a menace and security threat, his government is approaching insecurity in three different ways which include providing job through agriculture, vocational and technical skills.
“As well, we are ensuring that parents who send their children to Almajiri school are able to take care of such children and a bill for a law to that effect will soon be sent to the state House of Assembly for consideration,” Sule said.
Consequently, he vowed that the state government under his leadership will make sure that begging in the street of the state is a crime, adding that the rights of children must be protected.
The governor, therefore, explained that begging is not part of the concept of Almajiri system of Islamic education, hence, shifting the blame on parents who give birth to children and dump them to beg in the name of Almajiri system.