• By Reporter

Child beggars major source of Boko Haram's recruitment - Nigerian Senator


Some Almajiri children out on the street to beg for alms
Some Almajiri children out on the street to beg for alms

By Our Reporter


August 29, 2020 - Sen. Ade Fadahunsi has identified the Almajiri syndrome (Child Street beggars) as a major source of recruitment for the Boko Haram insurgents in North East Nigeria.


The senator who ia a member of the Senate Committee on Special Duties, said that the street beggars are ready soldiers for the insurgents and all efforts must be made to curb Almajiri syndrome.


Speaking when the Committee visited the Vice Chancellor of the University of Maiduguri, Prof. Aliyu Shugaba, on Friday, said once Almajiri is stopped, Boko Haram will be stifled of soldiers.


He lamented that insurgency in the state which was a disaster that have been ravaging Borno since 2009, must be tackled to enable citizens live normal lives.


Fadahunsi urged the centre to research into ways to help the country check the menace of almajiri.


“Almajiris are breeding soldiers for the insurgents; that should be the foundation of your research, already they are a disaster and they are still there.


“Cut the sources of recruitment into terrorism, you have to start doing that if not, the flood of almajiri disaster will carry everybody away,” he said.


Chairman of the committee, Sen. Yusuf Yusuf assured the University of Senate’s support toward reducing some of the challenges confronting the institution.


“In addition to partnering with NEMA, North East Development Commission (NEDC) and by extension I think you are also partnering with the parliament because under special duties we oversight NEDC, NEMA and Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.


“We assure you that we will do the best that we can to reduce the hardship, difficulties faced by the centre,’’ he said.


While noting that security was everybody’s responsibility, the lawmaker called for collaborative effort by stakeholders to fight against insecurity.


According to Wikipedia, Almajiranci is a system of Islamic education practiced in northern Nigeria and it is also the name for a young boy who is taught within this system, the system is called Almajiranci, the male gender seeking Islam knowledge is called Almajiri, female gender is Almajira, and the plural is (almajirai).


The system encourages parents to leave parental responsibilities to the attached Islamic school. The Hausa word Almajiri is derived from the Arabic word, "المُهَاجِرْ" "al-Muhajirun," which refers to a person who migrated his home in search of Islamic knowledge.[1][2]

Colloquially, the term has expanded to refer to any young person who begs on the streets and does not attend secular school.[3] Many people in Hausa land give 'Sadaka' to almajirai on daily basis seeking Divine reward and protection. Almajirai are children, usually from poor rural backgrounds, who leave their hometowns to study Islamic learning with malammai, teachers of the Quran.