‘Over 10 million Almajiri on the streets’

‘Over 10 million Almajiri on the streets’

By Khadijat Saidu

• Criminals keeping weapons with them, says TUC Women’s Commission

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) Women’s Commission has noted that over ten million Almajiri, orphans and vulnerable children are roaming the streets in Nigeria while criminals are keeping weapons and drugs with them.

Chairperson of the TUC’s Women Commission wing, Kebbi State chapter, Comrade Hafsat Abdulhamid Jamoh, stated this during their one-day programme on ‘Child-abuse and Almajiri Syndrome, Community Responsibilities to Build a Morally Sound Society. ”

She said: “In both Islam and Christianity, the child needs not to beg for food and other essential needs. His food, security and other basic needs were granted by law. The parents, relatives and the state are obligated to meet the child’s demands, including feeding, clothing, shelter and education.

“Let me use this privileged opportunity to intimate you with the information that over ten million Almajiri, orphans and vulnerable children, according to estimation, are roaming the streets in Nigeria, most particularly in the Northern region and Southern region respectively, begging for food. This indeed, is a disgrace to our regions and nation among the globe.”

She added that relegating children to Almajiri system is tantamount to child abuse and violation of their fundamental rights as granted by Nigeria’s constitution.

The National Chairperson of the Trade Union Congress Women’s Commission, Hajia Hafsat Shuaib, who commended the Kebbi State chapter for organising the programme, appealed to all Nigerians not to perceive the problem of Almajiri as Northerners’ problem but an issue that must be solved by all citizens.

She disclosed that apart from sexual abuse, child abuse and other evil treatments they are subjected to on the streets, criminals are keeping their weapons and drugs with them during the day, which they could not resist because of their peculiar situation.

She therefore called on, parents, traditional rulers, religious leaders to see these children as theirs, stressing that: “In Africa, a child is a child to all of us because we have the culture to nurture the children irrespective of whom their parents are “.

While declaring the programme open, Kebbi State governor, Atiku Bagudu, represented by the Permanent Secretary in charge of Establishment, Training and Pension, Dr. Isa Muhammed, condemned child-abuse and relegation of children to the Almajiri system; adding that the present administration has done a lot for women and child development through the Ministry of Women Affairs.

Source: The Nation

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