Video: Most Northern Leaders Were Almajiris – Okorocha
The immediate past governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha, has said that most Northern leaders passed through the Almajiri System of Education.
He however noted that the problem the North is facing right now is the bastardisation of Almajiri Learning into a begging venture.
Okorocha stated this while defending the Almajiri kids following the uproar recently generated by their repatriation from different states due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Igbo Senator and philanthropist maintained that begging was not part of the Islamic scripture.
Speaking in Hausa language in an Interview with BBC and monitored by Arewa Agenda, Okarocha who is the current Senator representing Imo West, said Almajiri kids are normal children who deserve an open arm of the society.
The former governor also submitted that an Almajiri kid can become a president of Nigeria in the future, hence the need for the government to give them deserving attention that will secure their future.
Okorocha recalled that the word ‘Almajiri’ is gotten from an Arabic word ‘Almuhajir’ which originated from the time of the Prophet Muhammad SAW when he migrated from Mekkah to Madina.
“They should rather be emancipated not deported to their States because taking them back to their States doesn’t mean they will stop begging, being hungry or poor. So we need to join hands together, help the children to acquire sound education and not only education, get them something to do even if it means building a school for them in the farm.”
He called on government at all level and well to-do individuals to join hands and emancipate the children from the menace of street begging.
“I know governments are pre-occupied with building roads, paying salaries and all but we still need to pay attention to the welfare of the poor before other things will follow. But if you give them shelter, give them jobs, they can feed themselves. If poverty is not fought from this angle especially in the North, we will have problem in this country. It is not the fault of this Children. It’s God that created them and they were not fortunate to be born in a well to-do home.”
Arewa Agenda reported that the COVID-19 pandemic has once again brought the Almajiri discourse to the front burner, as Northern Governors, in recent times, started deporting children to their various States across the Regions in a bid to curb spread of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Some of the street kids searching for Islamic knowledge across the north have been infected by the deadly virus just as state governments scramble frantically to send them back to their respective states.
The Northern Governors’ Forum has insisted that the Almajiri system in the region must be banned.
The governors disclosed this while discussing the region’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Almajiri, also known as Almajiranci or Almajirai is a system of Islamic education in northern Nigeria for the male gender seeking Islamic knowledge. Under the system, a boy is mandated to travel in search of knowledge and to develop himself spiritually and mentally for other endeavours.
Arewa Agenda is a Publication of Young writers from Northern Nigeria towards National Development and peaceful coexistence through positive narratives.