Group Tasks FG, States To Address Plight Of ‘Almajiris’

The Almajiri Child Right Initiative on Saturday appealed to government

at all levels to develop and implement policies that offers long term

solution to Almajiris in the country.

 

Leader of the group, Mr Mohammed Keana, made this call at a news

briefing in Abuja to commemorate the Almajiri Child Right Day.

 

He stressed the need for stakeholders to set up task team to address

the social, educational, nutritional and security situation of

Almajiris in country.

 

Keana said the day was to draw attention of the government toward

addressing ‘Almajiri’s welfare as they are the mostly abused children

in the country.

 

“In Nigeria, grey areas around religion and culture have repeatedly

been used to justify the abuse and exploitation of the ‘ Almajiri’.

 

“The child is abandoned by parents, exploited by some scholars and

Care givers and constituting nuisance to the society.

 

“The current state of the Almajiris portends a real and existential

threat that if left unchecked, could have profound consequences.

 

He, however, said the entrenched inhumanity towards them was

unacceptable; saying “Now, it’s time to act.”

According to him, most of the children are sent from age five and do

not receive any formal education.

 

“They live in shabbiest conditions with many facing nutritional

challenges aggravated by daily street begging.

 

“According to UNICEF report, there are nine to 10 million Almajiris in

Northern Nigeria.

 

“The situation makes the children prime targets for radicalism,

turning gullible youths who have been largely abandoned by society and

lacking structured homes into recruits for banditry and terrorism,” he

said.

 

Keana, however, called on relevant stakeholders in the international

communities to add their voices to the plight of Almajiri, especially

in terms of education, nutrition, healthcare, sanitation and achieving

the SDGs in the country.

 

The Almajiri Child Rights Initiative (ACRI), an NGO, aims to end the

systemic abuse of Almajiri children through access to better

healthcare, nutrition, shelter and a reinvigorated educational

curriculum that prepares them for a life of dignity.