- Bishop Kukah has lambasted some northern elite over Almajiri in the region
- The cleric said that Almajiri have been denied opportunities for social progress by the elite
- Kukah noted that the Almajiri has become a scapegoat for the multiple sins of the Nigerian state
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The fiery Catholic cleric, Hassan Kukah, has lambasted northern Muslim elite over the proliferation of Almarijis in the region.
Premium Times reports the cleric said the Almajiris in the northern part of Nigeria have been “sinned against” and denied opportunities for social progress by the elite.
Legit.ng gathered that Kukah, who is the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Kaduna, said on Monday, June 8, that the Almajiri has become a scapegoat for the multiple sins of the Nigerian state in general and some Muslim elite in particular.
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He said: “As usual, as of now, the northern elite will do what they do best: hide in the sands of self-deception, knowing that this will blow over and soon, no one will remember again.”
"The Almajiri system (or almajirci) is the over a century-old practice of poor rural parents who send their children to live with mallams in pursuit of Islamic knowledge, which the children now receive under violent and torrid conditions. It is seen as providing an environment for recruits into violence in the north, apart from the system’s socio-economic implications."
“The governors indicted themselves when they said that it is time to act now because the Almajiri has outlived his usefulness. At least they have admitted their complicity and the fact that the Almajiri system had always been a tool for political and economic forms of transaction.”
“Here is my thesis: With regards to his condition today, the Almajiri is an object, not a subject, is a victim, not a perpetrator, sinned against rather than a sinner.”
The report had it that the Almajirai and their mallams (teachers) are blamed for “being dirty and unkempt, miscreants, delinquents, nuisances to the society, petty thieves, prospective Boko Haram recruits, a stigma, an assault on our collective social sense of decency.”
“Their Mallam is charged with many sins including child abuse, abduction, human trafficking, exploitation, physical abuse, hard labour, enslavement, etc. So, we identify the Mallam and his Almajiri more by their crimes than their names. They are spoken about and not spoken to."
He said the Almajiri system was ordinarily good and “much treasured” part of Islamic history and found similarity with it in Christianity, giving an example of the role of catechists in the Catholic church.
He said: “The challenge for the Muslim ummah in northern Nigeria is to answer the question, where did all this go wrong? Where was the Almajiri supposed to go at the completion of his studies?"
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that Mallam Shettima Yerima, the president, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), sent a warning message to some ethnic groups including Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) to stop peddling lies against him or be ready to face the full wrath of the law.
It was reported that Shettima in a media statement issued on Saturday, June 5, said he and his group have been the targets of propaganda and lies put together by illegal and secessionist groups in the country to score cheap political points.
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