By HASSANA ZUBAIRU DAGONA

Begging (Almajiranci) starts when ones parents took him to another place be it a hamlet, village, town or to a city in some cases for the purpose of acquiring Islamic knowledge. The life of such individuals in the society is painful especially when it comes to the issue of food and shelter. Beggars can be regarded as a group of individuals who rely on asking people to earn a living.
Some beggars are found at their younger age. Some have not reach ten years because in some places you can see children of not more than five years and the place they live is very far from their parents. Some parents take their children to Almajiranci for the simple reason that the child is troublesome and they expect that their child will be well trained and disciplined better than when they are together.
Unknown to the parents that, their expectations are unnecessary to be achieved. This is because the person responsible for teaching the child cannot afford to feed the child. The number of beggars (Almajirai) under the control of one Mallam (teacher) ranges from two to hundred and sometimes even more than one hundred that is why the Mallam cannot provide them with the necessary care that is expected of him. And this gave room for the children to be roaming along the streets or going from house to house begging for food.
The body of these beggars (Almajirai) can easily accommodate any kind of disease because of the dirty clothes they wear and the place they sleep. So also, the food they eat in most cases is a contaminated food while the water they drink is mostly polluted. They are also exposed to all sorts of punishment and hardships by the Mallam.
During rainy season, these Almajirai are used by their Mallam to cultivate a gigantic area of land. The produce at the end will be sold by the Mallam and the beggars will not earn anything from it mostly. On the process of their interaction with other people, the Almajirai may eventually meet bad people in the society and that will mark the beginning of their anti-social behavior. All these hooligans in the society are mostly Almajirai.
With regards to the anti-social behavior, the ‘yan kalare (Gombe terrorists), ‘yan Sara suka (Bauchi terrorists) and ‘yan daba (Kano terrorists) which engage in all sorts of anti-social behavior are mostly beggars.
Beggars are mostly found in the northern part of Nigeria. Parents should be enlightened and educated that the disadvantages of taking a child to Almajiranci is more the advantages. Begging is illegal under the Vagrancy Act of 1804. However, it does not carry a jail sentence and is not well enforced in many cities although since the Act applies in all public places, it is enforced more frequently on public transport.
Parents who send their children to Almajiranci with the intention of acquiring Islamic education, the truth must be said that, necessary remedies applied to this. Islam does not promote poverty, why is it that only the Hausa leper, an amputee, a cripple and poor person that roam the streets of this country from north to south while other Nigerians have similar liabilities in the southern part of the country, why don’t they occupy the bridge of our cities like the way Hausa do?
Please, parents should save their children’s life, stay with them, guide them on their health, send them to the Islamic school system which are available everywhere in states and villages instead of taking them somewhere else so that they perform better and for better society.

Dagona is a Part 3 Mass Communication student University of Maiduguri

Author: Admin
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Comments (2)

  1. Habib Yauri says:

    Almajiranci doesn’t mke sens @ll. Its only northrner who beg on d street. Hardly u c any other tribe begin on d street or trafic jam, they are ol northernrs, which is very unfurtunate, infact its kind of word yoruba men used against to insult an Hausa man in lagos. And dnt blem them, cos begin is porhibitedd accurdin to Islamic law, expect thouse who are wicknesis.

  2. Bioseh says:

    Well written piece by Hassanna. I think if any person is allowed to carter for young people, they should be regulated and licensed. If they Mallams and their schools are registered, they should be entitled to some grants from the State Governments, as long as they meet certain conditions, like curriculum, health and welfare.

    I believe these institutions though they private, should be modified to meet present societal needs of nurturing and producing well adjusted and productive citizens.

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