Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje has raised alarm over the population of street urchins otherwise known as Almajiri in the Northwest state.
Governor Ganduje who put the figure at over 2 million, declared that the state has been overwhelmed.
Speaking with newsmen in Abuja, Governor Ganduje revealed that a basic educational summit has been slated for next month where the issue of how to integrate Almajiri would be discussed.
He equally attributed the influx of street urchins to his state to the porous borders which allow nationals of Chad and Niger Republics to gain easy access to Northern states.
He said: “I am sure you have heard about the Almajiris. The almajiris is a topical issue in Nigeria which is creating a lot of security issues and security problems. So, we decided to discuss with those who are operating the Almajiri system so that we integrate the system into the educational system. They have agreed and they are part of the summit that we are holding. We make it compulsory because any school-age child must go to school in Kano, that is what we want to do.
But Kano being a commercial nerve centre, we have an influx of Almajiri from all over the north. Influx of almajiris from Chad, from Niger, so I’m submitting a memo to the Northern Governors Forum so that we have common legislation pertaining to the movement of almajiris from one state to another. Unless we do that, the problem is difficult to solve in isolation and I believe the memo has received the blessing of the northern states
“As of today in Kano, we have over 2 million almajiri in Kano which we don’t have the infrastructure to take care of them.”
On the controversial RUGA policy which has been shelved by the federal government, Governor Ganduje restated his position that concerned herders should initiate discussions with their host communities on sustainable warm relationship to allay their fears.
He said Kano State has initiated a policy to contract farms settlement so that the herdsmen will no longer travel from one place and another.
“In order to solve the problem of farmers/herders clashes, the Federal Government should ban herdsmen trekking from the northern part of Nigeria to the southern part of Nigeria because along the way you get so many problems.
“Not only that, the herdsmen in Nigeria need to improve. Herdsmanship is no more a socio-cultural issue, but a socio-economic issue. But the way they are managing it is socio-cultural because they have not succeeded in fighting poverty ani poverty had not succeeded in fighting them.
“A herdsman you cannot call a poor man because he’s moving with cows that worth millions of naira but if he treks thousands of kilometres you cannot distinguish him from a poor man so that he has not succeeded in killing poverty and poverty has not succeeded in killing him.
“In Kano, we are going to contract farms settlement so that the herdsmen will no longer travel from one place and another.
“We have a technical committee which involves herdsmen themselves. We have big five forests which we are converting to be grazing reserves, including Falgore forest. We have already had a technical committee working.
“We have already awarded the contract of water which is being provided as we construct some tanks in some places. We will provide social amenities like hospital, veterinary clinic, market, security post and school so that herdsmen will enjoy facilities just like other Nigerians.”