Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has called for enactment of laws by state governments to tackle injustices in marriages and families, even as he canvassed for the arrest of any parent that sends out his child as an almajiri to beg for alms.
Almajiri refers to a young boy sent off by his parents to learn the Koran and acquire Islamic knowledge under the tutelage of scholars, who have over time abused the children and deployed them to beg for alms on the streets in order to fend for themselves, a development that has raised security concerns in Nigeria.
Sanusi spoke on Thursday at a national conference in Abuja, for repositioning the Muslim family for national development.
It was organised by the Future Assured initiative of the First Lady Aisha Buhari, in conjunction with the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs.
Emir Sanusi admonished men to take full responsibility for their marriages, especially in economic terms, by marrying only when they can take care of a wife, and having children they can cater for.
He stressed said that no law provided that a man should marry, have children and then abandon them responsibility to them.
According to him, any man that is too poor to take care of his family should go out and beg himself and not send his child to so.
The traditional ruler therefore called for the arrest of any parent that turned his child or ward to an almajiri rather, than arresting the innocent boy, as canvassed by one of the speakers at the conference.
Lending his voice to the issue, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, who was also a guest at the event, advocated for digital solutions that can make parents more responsible for their children.
He emphatically stated that “there is a problem in our country and we should face it. Enough of us talking and talking, we should all join hands to walk the talk.
“The problem of almajiri is not just a problem of a particular section of this country, it is a problem of each and everyone of us.
“Like the Emir of Kano said, we shouldn’t blame them, we should blame those that brought them to this world. It is very important we look at other ways and means of how to better the lot of their lives.
“We need to promulgate laws will force fathers to be very responsible for their children. We can even link it to BVN. Today, everything is digitalised, we have to link children to those irresponsible fathers, producing children that are becoming menace to the society.
“It is time they take responsibility for their actions, if you cannot confiscate their assets, confiscate their bank accounts, make life miserable for them, make life unpalatable for them so that they will be very serious about take issue of birth control seriously.”
The event, which held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, was attended by President Muhammadu Buhari, Islamic clerics, traditional rulers and some Northern governors.