By Chimezie Godfrey
The National Chairman of NCP, Dr Yunusa Tanko has said that the failure of the Almajiri system to provide the young boys with education and vocational skills has left them susceptible to recruitment to terrorist cells.
Dr. Tanko made the assertion on Friday in Abuja at the Dr Tanko @ 50 Colloquium.with the theme: The future of Nigeria and the unabating crises of the Almajiris, Area Boys, Baby Factory Children on the worsening Banditry and Insecurity in Nigeria, What Panacea?
According to him, these children are being transferred from all over the country, notably northern Nigeria, to well-informed Mallams who had undergone the same tutelage of studying under other Mallams. The exact number of Almajiri children in Nigeria is unknown, but some estimates put the figure at around 10 million, or about 81 percent of the country’s more than 10 million out-of-school children.
He further noted that the plan was for the children to receive assistance in developing themselves through knowledge based on Islam to achieve the highest possible quality of living using Islamic means.
Dr Tanko however said that surprisingly, the parents of these youngsters continued to send them to different parts of the country as time passed which has resulted to social exclusion anti-social tendencies among youths and adults.
He said,”Negative Influences of the Almajiri System breeds social exclusion and anti-social tendencies amongst youths and adults thereby making it difficult for the attainment of Education for All (EFA) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and other international conventions and protocols.
“The Almajiris’ lack of parental care and Qur’anic education render them susceptible to recruitment to terrorist cells.
“The system has been attacked for promoting youth poverty and delinquency, for failing to teach young boys vocational skills and thus making them unequipped for the workforce, and for radicalizing boys and making them perfect recruits for gangs and Boko Haram.”