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Published On: Sat, May 23rd, 2020

The Foistering Of Almajiris By Northern Nigerian On Southern Nigeria, A Case Of The Later Wanting To Eat Her Cake And Have It


By Malcolm Omirhobo
LAGOS MAY 23RD (URHOBOTODAY)-With utmost dismay , exasperation and disbelieve I have watched and seen several video clips, and pictures on the social media and I have read several newspaper publications and listen to several radio and television Broadcast of how trailers loaded with hundreds of ALMAJIRIS enter into the Southern part of Nigeria to settle there as their new homes with the aid , facilitation and encouragement of the Northern Traditional Rulers and Political Elites.
This migration of innocent destitute and abused children is very disturbing because it is done under the most inhuman and excruciating conditions at the heat of the Coronavirus pandemic during the ban and restriction on interstate movement to help combat the spread of Coronavirus pandemic without any plan for the future or provisions for the well-being of the abused destitute children and without considering the health , safety and purse of their host communities .
This move by the North without mincing words is inconsiderate, criminal, wicked , selfish , self centered irresponsible , hypocritical and crab like mentality with the intention to impoverish and destabilise other States of Nigeria in the South South , South East and South West Zones of Nigeria .

That I am a Pan Africanist and a proponent of one Nigeria is not in doubt but then I dare say without , sentiments or emotions that this , lazy , shameless and evil action of the Northern Traditional Rulers and Political Elites should not be condoned , tolerated or accepted by the States were those poor abused and vulnerable children are dumped and abandoned to fend for themselves and thereby constitute nuisance to the society because it is inimical to the positive growth of Nigeria.
To understand almajiri in contemporary Nigeria it is imperative and instructive for us to have a background knowledge of what Almajiri means and what it is all about .
Almajiri, formally called Tsangaya, is a precolonial migratory system of Islamic education in Northern Nigeria where someone especially a child leaves the comfort of his his home in search of Islamic knowledge under the care and guidance of a teacher for up to six years just like it is done in Egypt, Pakistan and so many other Moslem countries .These schools in the precolonial era were majorly sponsored by the Emirates system, with the help of the
community and parents via alms giving
With advent of colonalisation the British colonial masters refused to recognise the almajiri
system of education and stopped official funding of it and replaced
it with a new system of Western Education called Boko.
The British disruption of the almajiri system of education notwithstanding , interest in it remained the same in Northern Nigeria even after the independence of Nigeria till today . In recent times however because of the high population of children attending almajirischools,extreme poverty of parents to send their children to inclusive schools , no contributions from the community and no funding from Government the students are compelled by their teachers to go begging in the streets to keep the system alive . The introduction of begging has however helped to defeat the original purpose of the system as students spend more time looking for alms and food instead of learning.
As at the end of the month of March 2020 before the exodus of almajiri to the South there are over 18 million almajiris who makes up the majority of Nigerian Children presently out of school roaming the streets of Northern Nigeria
The system is not rounded as it fails to teach young children vocational skills to prepare them for the labour market . The system thus promote youth poverty and delinquency as the children become a menace in the societies in which they live, as they have no formal education, very little means of survival and they are idle most of the time.
Facing extreme child and sexual abuse, children under the current Almajiri education system are feeling abandoned , hungry , dejected and annoyed at society and with this mind set and frame of mind they become easily brainwashed by Terrorist , Bandits, unscrupulous politicians and other criminal elements and organisations. A good example is the case of Abubakar Shekauho the leader of the Boko Haram , terrorist group who is a product of the Almajiri educational system
The Northern political elites and traditional rulers being very much aware of the problem confronting the almajiri educational system did nothing to modernize or fund it because of their Inordinate goal to maintain the feudal , olighacy and aristocracy of the North which they enjoy and preside over
The Northern elites blind fold their people with religion and improverise them by denying them access to Western education and better economic opportunities to afford to send their children to inclusive schools.
The northern political elite are hypocritical hiding under the guise of Shariah law not only to exploit the poor, but also manipulate them at will to achieve their selfish objectives.
The Northern political elites have deliberately failed refused and or neglected to utilize the 167 Almajiri Integrated Model Schools built across the entire northern States of Nigeria by the Federal government of Nigeria to integrate and modernise the Almajaris system allowing the structures become wasted and dilapidated due to lack of use .
Knowledge they say is power and if there is one thing that the Northern political elites and traditional rulers does not like at all is to allow their people to acquire knowledge through western education .
These very few group of people deliberately ensure that the children of the poor in the North who are by far the majority do not get the basic education that they are entitled to knowing very well that these innocent children can become neurologists, architects, political scientist , lawyers, doctors and so on and so forth tomorrow to challenge them so they fail to tackle the poor state of education in the north. The attitudes and poor disposition of northern elite to enforcing formal education and
refusing to act is because they are afraid that their authority and control over the majority of the people who are poor, unemployed , ignorant and illiterate will be challenge.
They encourage their adults to be irresponsible fathers who leave their children on the streets without parental guidance .
They encourage the family values where fathers are not expected to be responsible for their children’s upkeep
Imagine in 1999 12 States in Northern Nigeria declared themselves as Sharia States and adopted the Sharia laws emhasizing on reforms on. Muslim Criminal law like cutting off the hands or legs of a thief and stoning to death adulterous women without thinking of reforming and modernizing the Almajari educational system for selfish reasons leaving the children on the streets as drug addicts, political thugs and tools for violent extremists.
They failed to Modernize the Almajari educational system to involve acquisition of various skills to enable them participate more positively in the development of their immediate environment and the nation at large.
They failed to integrate the almajiri pupils into government schools
Today Almajrii is the bedrock of thuggery , political violence and electoral vices , banditry
, drug addiction, political Violence and Radicalization in North Nigeria .
Small wonder why today the North does not see Boko haram as a terrorist issue but one of a social problem . Small wonder why Boko haram members are being referred to as our people who can kill others but must not be killed . Small wonder why Boko haram must be equated and likened to the Militants of the Niger Delta and must be recruited into the Nigerian Army or fully integrated into the society at all cost with the tax payers money and our common wealth. Small wonder why Boko haram members must be flown in Nigerian Jet plane and must be sent abroad to study . Same goes for the Bandits who are allowed to kill others but must not be touched . If we must be honest with ourselves 90 out of every 100 Boko haram member and bandits are products of the almajiri system of education .
Having help build and nurture the Almajiri monster to maturity , the Northern political elites and traditional rulers wants to transport it to foreign land to reck havoc on others who have been disciplined and prudent with their lives for them to suffer for the indiscipline and imprudence of the North.
For all intents and purposes.
this cynical imposition by the North of their children on the South must be resisted by the South through legal and lawful means with love and affection and without violence or rancor . If the South takes in this batch of children they will be setting a dangerious precedence and irreverseable benchmark and will not be able to stop future reoccurrence ?
I submit therefore that as long as we have no right to teach the North birth control or stop them from marrying many wives and procreating indiscriminately without means to cater for their children and as long as we cannot stop their value system that encourage and allows men to abandon and neglect their children then we must not start what we cannot finish.
In the interim , I commend the Nigerian public for speaking out and all the Southern States of Nigeria that have objected to this wanton child abuse of Nigerian children by the Northern political elites and traditional rulers and state with all seriousness that for once the North must not be indulged by South . They must not as always be allowed to eat their cake and have it back and they must this time be made to.lie on their beds the way they lay them.

Long live Northern Nigeria
Long live Southern Nigeria
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Long live Africa
By Chief Malcolm Emokiniovo Omrhobo .

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