By David Odama
THE Governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Sule, yesterday insisted that over 10 million children being described as Almajiris on the streets of Nigeria are beggars and not Islamic scholars.
The governor, who spoke when he appeared on a programme, said the concept of Almajiri system of education in Nigeria especially in the north was simply to beg on the streets rather than acquire the Islamic education or study the Quran.
Sule said: “It must be established that it is a crime to abuse a child, it is a crime to bring children to this world and send them into Almajiri system (begging) where you cannot take care of them. That is what we are trying to do. Parents must take responsibility. 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.”
He said in Nasarawa State where Almajiri system had become a menace and security threat, his government was approaching insecurity in three different ways including providing jobs through agriculture, vocational and technical skills as well as ensuring that parents who sent their children to Almajiri school were able to take care of such children.
The governor vowed that Nasarawa under his leadership would make sure that begging on the street was a crime, stressing that the rights of children must be protected, adding that begging was not part of the concept of Almajiri system of Islamic education and blamed parents who abandoned them on the streets to become beggars.