Last week,I had an interesting encounter with a little Almajiri boy.He first approached me in a traffic circle with handful of other Almajiris whom they took advantage of the situation to entreat for food and money.
By my rough estimation, the Almajiri in question is less than 7 years old.He displayed to me a sunny disposition and with that he quickly caught my attention.He waved at me through a window of the car I was driving.
Because of the gridlock, I quickly,I quickly engaged him I a conversation and in a usual Hausa language.Because it was school hours I asked “me ya sa ba ka je makaranta ba?”meaning, why are you not in school?The small handsome Almajiri boy was only smiling he couldn’t say anything.It then occurred to me that I was not communicating! His friends quickly came to his rescue and happily joined us and honestly told me”Ba ya jin Hausa da ga Niger ya za kwananna”Meaning he can not speak Hausa,he came from Niger for Islamic education sojourn”
Within I minute, I socially reexamined the Almajiri boy on the followings;
I rated my Almajiri friend very low in all the indices listed above and I could not hold my views and feeling but to honestly share them with a view of contributing to the ongoing debates and campaign on the need to modify the system and the impending danger associated with almajirance in Northern Nigeria.
What encouraged me to share my views was the submission made by Sokoto State Governor Animu Tambuwal in Daily Trust Friday 7th June ,2019 and I quote. “…Almajiri engage in begging exposes them to dangerous habits which will, in turn,hurts us in near future… Our children should be able to go to schools not hiding under the almajiri system of education to start begging”.
The above quotation underscored the main thrust of my piece. This my Almajiri friend’s health status obviously need an upgrade, his physical appearance needs serious attention, malnutrition is showing all over him,his security is at stake and his future looks bleak.
Sociologically, his parents are far away from him,I believe he needs love, attention, and the warmness of his mother.
The little boy may have sound Islamic knowledge, but in the near future he can’t compete with his contemporaries in market place of western education which is the driving force in the 21st Century.
The impending danger awaiting the future of Nigeria should in case the likes of my international Almajiri friend finished almajirance without any entrepreneurship skills or ingenuity, western education and good morals, the is safe to say that we sitting on a cage of a gun powder,it shall one day explode and we are all likely to get consumed!
God bless Nigeria.