President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has pledged the commitment of the 8th Senate to reposition the Almajiri Islamic Education System in the northern part of the country.
Saraki spoke yesterday in Abuja when a delegation from the Centre for Crisis Communication (CCC) and conveners' of a proposed National Conference on Almajiri Phenomenon in Northern Nigeria, led by the Executive Secretary of the CCC and chairman, organizing committee of the confab, Air Commodore Anas Yusuf (retd), visited him at the National Assembly.
According to a statement by his Special Assistant on Print Media, Chuks Okocha, the President of the Senate, who lamented the abuse of the concept of Almajiri Islamic Education, said that the system was aimed at imparting sound Islamic education to the youth.
The President of the Senate, while reiterating the noble ideals behind the Almajiri Educational system said: "We all know that in the past, it used to be a system that produced a lot of scholars and jurists in the past. But what we have now is not the initial idea in setting it up. It has been abused and has now become a breeding ground for activities that are inimical to our developmental goals, particularly in the North and the Nigeria in general.
"So, the Conference you are organizing with the aim of looking at the socio-political implications of the Almajiri phenomena that we have now, requires a collective approach that will help remove the abuse and make it very commendable.
"Let me assure you that the 8th Senate will like to partner with you in ensuring that the Conference is successful and to come up with the roadmap that will further strengthen the efforts being made to reposition the system by different States in the country," the President of the Senate said.
He however tasked members of the organizing committee of the proposed National Conference on Almajiri Phenomenon in Northern Nigeria to look into ways to domesticate the Child's Right Act in some of the northern states, stating that already he has met with some Speakers of some Northern States' Houses of Assembly on the matter.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary of the CCC and Chairman, organizing Committee of the Proposed National Conference on the Almajiri Phenomenon in Northern Nigeria, Air Commodore Anas Yusuf (retd), lamented the plight of Almajiri in the north and the attendant socio-political consequences.
He said that this has continued to pose a serious security challenge and danger which need to be tackled headlong.
"It is common knowledge that the Boko Haram terror group found willing recruits from some of these poor Almajiris. Nevertheless, since we know that the Almajiris of today as members of the society will be part of the leaders of tomorrow, it therefore behooves on the leadership in the Northern Nigeria to tackle this neglected and challenging phenomenon. It is often said “A stitch in time saves nine”, he explained.
He lamented that the current demographic estimates have put the number of the Almajiris in the Northern Nigeria at about 10 million youth, noting that a couple of states in the north had individually held separate seminars towards addressing the issue.
However, he said that the Almajiri Phenomenon requires a more holistic approach in tackling the situation beyond individual state level, therefore the need for the conference to address the issues.