From Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi
The Trade Union Congress(TUC) Women Commission, has noted that over ten million Almajiri, orphans and vulnerable children are roaming the streets in Nigeria while criminals are keeping their weapons, drugs with them.
Chairperson of the TUC, the 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, child needs not to beg for food and other essential needs. His food, security and other basic needs were granted by law, the parent, relatives and the state were obligated to meet the child demands including feeding, clothing, shelter and education.
“Let me use this privileged opportunity to intimate you with thus in for that, over ten million Almajiri, orphans and vulnerable children, according to an 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 are tantamount to child abuse, violations of their fundamental rights which were granted by Nigeria’s constitution.
The National Chairperson of the Women Commission of the Congress, Hajia Hafsat Shuaib, who commended the Kebbi State chapter for organized the programme, appealed to all Nigerians not to perceive the problem of Almajiri as Northerners problem but issue that must be solved by all citizens.
She disclosed that, apart from sexual abused, child abuse and other evil treatment they are subjected to on the streets, the criminals are keeping their weapons, drugs with them during the day which they could not resist.
” I want to appeal to all of us,parents,traditional rulers,religious leaders to see these children are ours. In Africa, a child is a child to all of us because we have the culture to nurture the children irrespective of whom are their parents”.
While declaring the programme open,Kebbi State Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu,represented by the Permanent Secretary in charge of Establishment, Training and Pension,Dr. Isa Muhammed assured the Congress that the state government would continue to support any organization in the course of women and child development.
He noted that the present administration had done a lot for the women and child development through the Ministry of Women Affairs, stressed that the state are ready to partner with other unions on women and child development.
Bagudu also condemned child abuse and relegation of children to almajiri system,a dding that the society has completed derailed from original system of Almajiri.