Let’s Be Clear: Almajiri Schools Are Illegal – By Dr. Issa Perry Brimah

Almajiri
Almajiri
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There is no dressing that can turn a pig into something else. It will remain a pig. The Nigerian Almajiri tutorship system is illegal. It is unconstitutional and a violation of Nigeria’s laws, the universal Child’s Right Act and God’s laws.

In this regard, previous and current administrators who have attempted to use the infusion of money to address Nigeria’s abhorrent Almajiri child-abandonment program which has set Nigeria as the world leader in out-of-school children, are violating the law.

The urgent role and responsibility of state and federal administrators is to carefully dismantle the system, supporting families’ welfare and re-uniting kids with their parents while placing those who cannot be reunited into proper orphanages and up for adoption.

Among other rights listed below under the Child’s Right Act which Nigeria adopted in 2003, every Nigerian child has a right to dignity, to free Universal Basic education, to a family, to protection from forceful displacement against his or her will, from child labor, from exploitative labor and any other form of exploitation. The beginning part of this list can be read below and more in the appended source link.

The Holy books are not less explicit in protecting children from abandonment, exploitation, forced labor, begging to survive and all forms of abuse. These are the very customs Prophets came to disrupt.

‘…and do not kill your children out of poverty; We will provide for you and them.’ Quran 6:151

“Fear Allah and treat your children with equal justice.” (Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim.)

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, as narrated by ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar, “… and your child has rights over you.” Muslim, 1159.

It has been narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar that the Prophet (PBUH) said: Beware. every one of you is a shepherd and every one is answerable with regard to his flock. The Caliph is a shepherd over the people and shall be questioned about his subjects (as to how he conducted their affairs). A man is a guardian over the members of his family and shall be questioned about them (as to how he looked after their physical and moral well-being). A woman is a guardian over the household of her husband and his children and shall be questioned about them (as to how she managed the household and brought up the children). A slave is a guardian over the property of his master and shall be questioned about it (as to how he safeguarded his trust). Beware, every one of you is a guardian and every one of you shall be questioned with regard to his trust.” al-Bukhari, 2416; Muslim, 1829.

Parents must take up their responsibility to shepherd their house and Nigerian government must immediately rise to its responsibilities and sworn obligations to uphold the constitution and outlaw the Almaijiri system for prosperity and God’s favor to return to our land.

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*CHILD’S RIGHT ACT*

PART I
Best Interest of a Child to be of Paramount Consideration in all Actions.

SECTION
1. Best interest of a Child to be of paramount consideration in all actions.
2. A child to be given protection and care necessary for his well‐being.

PART II
Rights and Responsibilities of a Child
Rights of a Child
3. Application of Chapter IV of 1999 Constitution, etc.
4. Right to survival and development.
5. Right to name.
6. Freedom of association and peaceful assembly.
7. Freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
8. Right to private and family life.
9. Right to freedom of movement.
10. Right to freedom from discrimination.
11. Right to dignity of the child.
12. Right to leisure, recreation and cultural activities.
13. Right to health and health services.
14. Right to parental care, protection and maintenance.
15. Right of a child to free, compulsory and universal primary education, etc.
16. Right of a child in need of special protection measure.
17. Right of the unborn child to protection against harm, etc.
18. Contractual rights of a child.
19. Responsibilities of a child and parent.
20. Parent, etc. to provide guidance with respect to child’s responsibilities.

PART III
Protection of the Rights of a Child
21. Prohibition of child marriage.
22. Prohibition of child betrothal.
23. Punishment for child marriage and betrothal.
24. Tattoos and skin marks.
25. Exposure to use, production and trafficking of narcotic drugs, etc.

Use of Children in Other Criminal Activities
26. Use of children in other criminal activities.
27. Abduction, removal and transfer from lawful custody.

Child Labour
28. Prohibition of exploitative labour.
29. Application of Labour Act.

Buying, Selling, etc., for the Purpose of Begging and Prostitution, etc.
30. Prohibition of buying, selling, hiring or otherwise dealing in children for the purpose of hawking
or begging for alms or prostitution, etc.

Unlawful S*xual Intercourse, etc.
31. Unlawful s*xual intercourse with a child, etc.

Other Forms of S*xual Abuse and Exploitation
32. Forms of s*xual abuse and exploitation.

Other Forms of Exploitation
33. Other forms of exploitation.


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