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Friday, June 05, 2020

Citizen to Ndume on Almajiri: I respect your views, but strongly disagree - ITREALMS

Commentary@ITREALMS:

"Distinguished Senator Ndume,

I RESPECT YOUR VIEWS SO MUCH, BUT STRONGLY DISAGREE WITH YOU THIS TIME

1. I hope you are keeping safe and observing all COVID-19 protocols as detailed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control?
"2. I read your comment regarding the Almajiri system and was so touched that I cannot but add my voice to yours."3. Sir, the fact that you were a product of Almajiri system does not make it right. This is twenty first century Nigeria and so many things have changed in case you just returned from Mars (...laughs)."4. Nigerians travel to all corners of the world including some of the Islamic countries with deep-rooted religious fundamentalism. Nowhere do they find responsible parents throw their UNDER-AGED children out to the streets to beg to feed in the guise of religion."5. For lack of what other humane name to call it, some of us believe that the Almajiri system, which you are defending is promoting irresponsible parenting."6. We are thankful to God that you survived it and by the grace of Almighty God, you pulled through to become a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. But the end line is this; if your dear parents ever threw you out to go and beg strangers for food, they did not treat you well."7. It also means that you may not have enjoyed parental love, care and affection. But, please find it in your heart to forgive them. They may not have known better."8. On the account of that, If I were you, I will spend my last breadth to ensure that other children do not pass through that route because it is inhuman."9. Distinguished Senator, strong voices such as yours from the north should positively support the efforts of the Northern Governors to give these children God gave to some "irresponsible Nigerian parents) a better life."10 . I do not see that better life in Almajiri system, which was why the former President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and his administration built Almajiri schools all over northern Nigeria to enable the country mop up the children from the streets and give them a sense of direction."11 . But shortly after he left office, I do not know what has become of the well-intended schools. I think this is the time to revive such schools."12 . Distinguished, I stand to be corrected, but I cannot remember any serving Senator of the Federal Republic whose under-aged children are part of the "beautiful Almajiri" system that you are eulogising - roaming the streets and begging to feed.

"13 . Please, do not defend such a system that debases humanism. Rather, you should join other positive voices like the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el' Rufai, Dr. Abdulahi Ganduje etc that are calling for better life for these children.

"14. I think, you should also join the campaign that couples in northern Nigeria to give birth to the number of children they can cater for. That cliche that "It is God that takes care of children," is thoroughly unreasonable.

"15. Distinguished, please do not misunderstand these candid musings. It is because of the love and respect that I have for you. And, I will appreciate it if you take it in good fate. In Igboland where I come from, there is a saying that "...a man who cannot take care of his family is worse than an infidel..."

"16. For that reason, Igbo people see begging as a taboo. How much more when a parent or parents send their children out to go and beg, I mean beg for livelihood deliberately...God forbid bad thing!

"17 . May God Almighty continue to give you more wisdom to enable you discharge your duties as a very knowledgeable Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

"18 . Thank you so much for your time, Distinguished Senator."


*Contributed by Jude Nwauzor, Communications Practitioner, Abuja.

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