- Almajiri unIslamic
Popular child begging, otherwise known as Almajiri and refusal of girl child education in Northern part of Nigeria is unconnected to Islam, according to Sultan of Sokoto and President General of Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III.
The Sultan stated this in Kaduna yesterday at the 2nd steering committee meeting between United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, Northern State Governments and the Sultan Foundation for Peace and Development on development of “girl child” in northern Nigeria, held in Kaduna.
Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III while declaring open the meeting as the chairman of the occasion said Almajiri has nothing to do with Islam.
According to him, “We talk about Almajiri in the North, and we keep on seeing it as if it is a religious issue.’Almajirinci’ has nothing to do with Islam. It is an issue of poverty and nothing more, and the earlier we all recognise this fact, the better for us.”
He said refusal to educate a girl child in the name of religion was a total misconception, noting that it was time to change the perception of Northerners against the girl child education.
“UNICEF and Sultan Foundation for Peace and Development underscore the importance of educating the girls and to remove the perceptions that the place of the girl child is in the kitchen, street hawking or the home.
“We believe an educated girl is better in bringing up better family and citizenry to the world because we all know the importance of our mothers.
“They trained and brought us up, if you check the lifestyle of an individual if it’s good, check the family background; and if bad check the family background. The women play that important role of bringing up the society.
“Here in Northern Nigeria, we don’t pay much attention to girl child education.
“As we all know an educated woman is more an asset than uneducated one or even educated man, you must be knowledgeable to lead. To rule you must be knowledgeable.
“The girl child education has become very important especially now that the world is facing social problems, and Nigeria is part of that global village,” he said.
However, the Sultan said plans are underway to have all females’ university in Sokoto State.
In her remark, Country Representative, UNICEF Nigeria, Jean Gough stressed the need to transform the education sector in Nigeria, saying “education is the cornerstone of everything, and without education, there cannot be reduction in poverty and transformation of the country.
“We all want to transform Nigeria and assist President Muhammadu Buhari to achieve goals set for Nigeria. We hope this year 2016 will be a year of true change for transformation.
“With education, we can bring the change we want for our girls in this country. We must push to bring the change Nigerians wants,” adding that “The traditional rulers have a great role to play. The sultan is trying to mobilise the children to go to school,” Gough said.
Meanwhile, the steering committee meeting is aimed towards strategising to hold a summit on Girl Child Education in Northern Nigeria billed for Sokoto State.