Your Excellencies, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon you as you serve humanity with utmost dedication and lofty sacrifices. May He continue to guide your fruitful thoughts and actions for the provision of good governance that ensures socio-economic justice and prosperity for your people. I sincerely salute your dogged courage and uncommon perseverance as you are heavily saddled with tremendous challenges of governance. It is really and profoundly appreciating how you relentlessly strive for human and physical development amidst scarce resources. Your government is popularly known and described as government of the people, by the people and for the people. In other words, it is not discriminatory. It is an all inclusive government in form, character and functions. It is presumed to serve the interest of all segments of the society. This globally modern government is the hope of the hopeless, the defense of the defenseless and the voice of the voiceless irrespective of gender, age, tribe, religion and of course, social status. Thus, it is strongly believed that you have the full capacity to meet the diverse needs, yearnings and aspirations of your people. You are aware of the social dynamics of your people and their different aspirations. For instance, the elites are part of your social fraternity even though they don’t hold political offices. Their socio economic security is formidable and cannot be destroyed. They hold the key to their future. Though unemployment is biting very hard yet, young Nigerians undergoing courses in universities and other tertiary institutions are hopeful for a bright future when they complete their studies. The class of the Nigerian entertainers is not losing hope either. In fact, the members’ living is continuously upgraded. To show the relevance of soccer entertainment, the Jigawa state government recently declared open a modern stadium in Dutse which gulped more than 500 Million Naira.
A little child attending a primary school has focus and ambition. The pupil wants to complete his or her primary education successfully, proceed to junior and senior secondary schools to end up with good results and build a foundation for the future. Their parents, the society and even your government have great hope in them for, they will be tomorrow’s leaders. Your Excellencies, from these narrations, I am trying to raise the impression that depending on one’s socio-ec
onomic status, our hopes are high and low. These hopes are directly or indirectly influenced by your programs, policies, projects. Thus, your main social duty is to ensure the protection and promotion of the hopes of the most vulnerable, fragile and naïve. At this point, it is with a deep sense of concern that I present the pathetic and wretched condition of the Almajiri life with a view to finding a positive solution.
The horrible tale of the Almajiri is not alien to you. You know him to be completely innocent, hopeless, voiceless Nigerian child who seems to be the only law-abiding citizen without any aspiring future. You will never deny the fact that his case is genuine that needs political will to address. You must have faith in him so that he can have faith in you. Let us all feel his severe pains. Let us recognize his human essence. Let us give him a chance to build his hope and fully utilize his human potentialities. You will agree with me that the Almajiri does not feel the soft touch of our human heart. We ought to present to him our human face and motivate him for high achievements. The primary purpose of this is to make him understand that he was never born to be an Almajiri but to be fully Allah’s representative on earth.
We all know that the Almjiri is an abandoned child in a troubled world. He is a living vagabond whose future is very obscure and undefined. He is absolutely on himself, ignorant of the fact that he has legitimate and fundamental right to the share of the national cake. The system he is undergoing has given him the wrong notion that he is worth nothing in the society and possess no potentialities. Thus, your timely intervention for his sustained social security is fundamental. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the child and the Organization of African Unity (OAU) Charter on Rights of the Child both define a child as any one below the age of 18 years.
Nigeria is a party to that convention and agreed to its various articles. Article 27 of that UN Convention recognizes the right of the child to a standard of living for the child’s physical, mental, spiritual, and social development. Article 24 states that no child should be deprived of the right to health care services. Article 28 demands the state to’ make primary education compulsory and available to all’. The term compulsory here denotes that the state should take measures to ensure that no child should be left without primary education. Article 31 insists that the child must have rest and leisure. It is therefore your duty to facilitate the entrenchment of these usurped rights of the Almajiri.
To be continued tomorrow
Abdullahi, wrote from Galadanci quarters, Ringim, Jigawa State.