The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha observed almajiris could become a major threat to the country in the future if measures are not put in place take care of them now.
The Governors from the Northern part of the country unanimously agreed to ban the almajiris and consequently send them back to their hometowns as a way of combating spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the region.
Speaking on Monday during the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Mustapha, said while the governors’ decision is laudable, there should be measures to ensure they are meaningfully engage them.
His words: “Most of them are minors. As a matter of fact, by the time they get to their teens they mature and become the Malams. And I think every government has a responsibility given to it by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I think section 14:1, to provide for the welfare and the security of its citizens.
“And I believe that the governors that are taking this option have that at the back of their minds. The states in which these Almajiris are operating, can we say that their welfare is being taken care of? Is adequate security being provided for them? And being minors, somebody has to take that responsibility. And I said we should look at it within the context.
“I believe that notable northern leaders have spoken extensively on the issue of the Almajiri. The former emir of Kano was very passionate about it, and I know the sultan has spoken about it and key leaders in the north that if we do not deal with the issues relating to the almajiris, we are building an army that would overwhelm us as a people and as a nation in the future. If we do not cater for them, and provide for their welfare and turn them into productive citizens.
“There is nothing wrong about them learning the dictates of their faith. But we must prepare them equally for the future. Equip them, skill them so that they can become educated in their state and also productive citizens in the future, if not we are building an army that would overwhelm us in the future. So, I want to believe that the actions that have been taken by these governors are in context to provide for the security and the welfare, realising that virtually all of them are minors.”