The Almajiri, Islamic scholarship migrant culture is an increasingly pressing concern in Northern Nigeria.
There are an estimated 9-10 million Almajiris in the north at any given time.
The practice involves sending children to other States and nations for Islamic studies.
Most of the children do not receive a formal education.
Many children are sent from an age of 6 years.
Many children are sent out to beg for alms during the day when there are no classes.
Almajiri children live in some of the shabbiest conditions imaginable.
There are next to no jobs or opportunities for Almajiri adults in the increasingly challenging and competitive north.
The above makes Almajiris prime targets for radicalisation
Addressing Almajirinchi is an essential element of insecurity crisis in Nigeria. It is also a human rights issue affecting the rights of children.
Borno, epicentre of Boko Haram has 1 million Almajiris; many of Borno’s Almajiris are from neighbouring nations, thus presenting a regional crisis.
There is an urgency to the Almajiri problem that Nigeria must not miss.
Nigeria has the highest number of out of school children in the world (over 10million). The highest number of these children are in the north-east of Nigeria, which is currently bedevilled with security challenges posed by Boko Haram terrorists. Many of these children are victims of the Almajiri system, gullible youths who have been largely abandoned by society and are not home raised are a known pool for recruits for banditry and terrorism. The Almajiri system, apart from depriving Nigerian children and constantly being in violation of the Child Rights Act is a most pressing concern in today’s Nigeria with the challenge of radicalism and terrorism.
The Almajiri system has outlived its usefulness. Reforms with “Almajiri schools” have not had a meaningful impact on the culture. A system entwined in native culture, this proposal proposes a comprehensive project to explore its cultural ties and harness thoughts and positions from leading figures as part of an advocacy initiative that can help bring an end to the prevalent abuse of children through prevalent Almajiri setups; either by committed regulation or suspension of the system.
It is time to end the Almajiri culture
We must come together to help these abandoned children
This project is initiated by
ENDS.ng in Collaboration with Child Care and Wellness clinic Research Centre
Coordinated by Citizen Mohammed Sabo Keana and Dr. Brimah Peregrino
Correspondence: [email protected] @CitizenMohammed
Videos are of
Imam Nura Khalid. National Assembly Qrtrs. Mosque, Apo, Abuja
Former Nigerian Human Rights Commission chairman Chidi Odinkalu
ENDS project coordinator, Mohammed Sabo Keana touring Almajiri schools