SULTAN of Sokoto Alhaji Muhammad Saad Abubakar has declared that almajiris are not criminals or trouble makers contrary but just young children who have become victims of circumstances beyond their control.
Following the collapse of the traditional almajiri school system in the post-colonial era, many parents across northern Nigeria do not send their children to school and instead allow them to roam the streets as beggars. This has resulted in Nigeria having the highest number of out-of-school children in the world today, with a whopping 13 kids out of school, resulting in a massive nationwide crime wave.
Speaking in Minna at an event to mark the 50th anniversary of the Islamic Education Trust (IET), Sultan Abubakar called on Islamic scholars in northern Nigeria to come up with strategies on how to overcome the almajiri phenomenon. He added that these almajiris lack parental love as they are victims of neglect of their parents stressing that such parents will give an account of their actions here on earth before God.
According to the sultan, to address the phenomenon, there is a need to take a holistic approach that would accommodate how to overcome the challenge of the distance between the children and education He also emphasized the need for the curriculum to be expanded so as to recognise Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, and Arabic, so that schools in Nigeria can use them to teach science and technology-related subjects as other countries have been doing.
Furthermore, the sultan noted that northern Nigeria is blessed with human and natural resources, so there is no reason for its people to be living in poverty considering its comparative advantage. He urged the people to wake up and explore every potential they have in the region in order to come out from poverty.