Plights Of Almajiri, Way Out

By Aminu Tudunwada

I was touched by a story posted on a social media (Facebook) of a young boy (ALMAJIRI) barely 10 years old who has cancer like rashes permeated some part of his buttocks and need at least a million naira for its treatment and return to normalcy,which was caused by forcing the boy to carnal use(Homosexual) by some scrupulous and heartless people.

For God sake what kind of loose society are we? Releasing a young kid to the grip like vice,pincher  or warm hand of this world wandering among the kind hearted, good people as well as evil minded agents of darkness machineries. Fortunately luck smile at the calamity of the boy (Almajiri) as a kind hearted Woman took care of his bills and treatment .

Well this is a pre requisite back to the basic point, Almajiri system of education or the name Almajiri is term used to describe children who are sent from rural to urban areas to live with Islamic teachers known as Mallams,and acquire Kur’anic education and religious instruction which is prominent in the northern part of the country.

Kids and young adolescents are taken away from their mothers or siblings to the expose of wider world,some even cross the borders, from Niger Republic to Nigeria,Chad ,Cameroon ,Mali, Senegal or Central African Republic .

Sometime ago, i met a young boy that could not speak any dialects of this nation or colonial language of English or French rather one person told us by experience and familiar with tribal mark of the kid, he knew the boy speaks Mandingo language perhaps he comes from Burkina Faso,Guinea,Liberia or even Gambia, what  cruelty is this? 

According to a survey and  United Nations data of 2017,there are 15 million Almajiris across the Northern part of this country and Kano alone takes the lion share percentage of over 2.5 million Almajiris roaming the nooks and crannies of its rural and urban areas.

The Emir of Kano Muhammadu Sunusi II, has being speaking about implications of nowadays Almajiri system and problems the challenges it poses to the society, hence the need to put all hands on deck to salvage and re organise the system for the benefits of all.

However many do not take the message of the monarch on this issue serious.

 Consider this with growing complex nature of society ,people tend to complain of the act of begging by Almajiris which is becoming unpopular and unacceptable.Begging expose them to environmental hazard, it instill a sense of inferiority  complex ,dependency and rejection with  all sorts of negative psychological disposition. 

To me the solution is to consults the parents of the Almajiris in their various domain and try to educate them on the implications of sending their children to the now dangerous path.

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Reforms the systems like it was before and after colonial masters, by handling them to the Native Authority (NA) at the hands and care of traditional rulers, that knew the exact numbers of Almajiris that a particular Malam has or comes with from so, so village or country. And they are going to be with him for the duration of a specified time, and they have different skills and business. If some of them go astray or became nuisance and recalcitrant, their Malam in collaboration with Ward or District heads will take them to their parents and strict warning of not seeing them around the territory, as a precaution measure to the evils they are about to become or unleash to their community. 

Perhaps this will wake us and help us carve this out, if not still we are hobbling and wandering in the same place, instead of being a blessing and  BOOM they bring, they may end becoming DOOM and curse upon our society.

Aminu Tudunwa is a practicing Journalist Based


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