Ali Ndume, Senator representing Borno South District, has expressed disappointment over the way northern governors treated almajirai, over the outbreak of the coronavirus in the region.
Ndume maintained that the almajiri system is part of the tradition in the north.
Most of the governors evacuated children seeking Islamic education in their states, as part of the measures to curb the spread of the disease.
The senator revealed that he is a product of almajiri system.
He said the system has been misunderstood, a situation he said made the governors to treat the children with disdain.
He said: ”The almajiri system is one of the areas I am emotionally worried about because I can describe myself as a product of almajiri, if this is what you call almajiri.
“Almajiri is part of our system, it doesn’t mean these are social miscreants or social nuisances.
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“They are part of the tradition of the North whereby children are sent to learn Islamic doctrines.
“For example, I grew up with almajiri too where Malam comes from Kano, Sokoto, Maiduguri and settle in villages like my own and almajiris are given to them by their parents in order to get Islamic knowledge.
“If you look at it the almajiri system is about Islamic knowledge and we joined them too. It is just a form of Education.
“What the governors did, to me, is not the appropriate response. It is better to face the challenge rather than run away from it.
“That is my take on it and if you look at it, the almajiri system is only known in the north, and even in the north, it’s not so much in the Central, except in the North West and Northeast.
“The north-west, Northeast, we were under one region and we are all Nigerians which the Constitution is very clear on that”.
Ndume urged the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs to get palliative to the children, rather than keeping the items for those who may not necessarily need them.
According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari has good intentions for Almajiri system, and will be happy to see that they are catered for.
“This is the area I feel concerned about and the President is looking for people like that. For the government to say, take your own and drop it somewhere and another person takes his own and drop it somewhere, I think it’s not the way to go”, Ndume stated.