27th May, 2018
CHILDREN’S DAY: PAY ATTENTION TO ALMAJIRI, CULTISM, DRUG ABUSE & AREA BOYS SYNDROME
Children around the world are being celebrated today, Sunday 27th May, 2018. However, more than ten million al-majiri children face exposure to illiteracy, disease, hunger, starvation, homelessness and child abuse. Although the al-majiri system exists mainly in Northern Nigeria, the health and future of a larger number of underaged Nigerians are being slowly destroyed by cultism, drug abuse and the area-boys syndrome.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) calls attention to these hydra-headed monsters which are capable of swallowing up the Nigerian social order.
We charge the Federal Government (FG) and all state governors to focus their energy on the rehabilitation of children involved in all these anti-social vices. Special centers should be established by governments at federal, state and local government levels for the reengineering of the minds of these children.
In loco parentis, the Glorious Qur’an holds parents accountable for the proper upbringing of children (Qur’an 2:233). Parents’ responsibilities start from children’s infancy when the mother must breastfeed her infant for two whole years in other to make the child wholly human. Children who are breastfed for less period end up being less human because mechanized milk only ends up endowing children with animalistic traits, exposure to opportunistic diseases and a stunted mental growth.
This has been responsible for the emergence of the area boys’ syndrome and symptoms of violence among the youths of today. Children who are breastfed for only one year inherit only fifty percent human qualities and fifty percent of brutish mannerisms. Those breastfed for just three months are worse as they absorb about twelve and a half percent of the Adamic chromosome and eighty eight and a half percent of animal behaviourial pattern. Therefore women have a big chance of turning around worsening morality in society.
In this respect, we appeal to the Federal Government to follow the good example of the Lagos State government (LASG) by raising women’s maternity leave from three months to six. It will be recalled that LASG did this about three years ago. Three months maternity leave makes no sense for women who are expected to breastfeed for two years. It should be noted that paediatricians now recommend that women should give their infants breastmilk only for the first six months after birth. This reveals the divine originality of Islam as only the 1,400 years old Glorious Qur’an recommends this among all other scriptures.
Fathers also have the duty to feed, accommodate and educate their children up till the age of forty years according to the Glorious Qur’an (46:15). The al-majiri practice whereby parents send their children out to mallams only to abandon them there to start begging is therefore contrary to the teachings of Islam. Such parents will be accountable to Allah yawm al-Qiyamah (on the Day of Judgement).
We cannot, in good conscience, turn the blind eye when thousands of underaged children are taking harmful drugs like tramadol and codeine thereby filling our homes with junkies. How can we claim to be a civilized people when we open our eyes and watch as our children turn themselves into domestic atomic bombs waiting to blow up the entire Nigerian society? The insecurity faced by Nigeria today can be traced to parental neglect and ignorance. We should therefore own up and stop blaming government alone for the pervading insecurity in the country.
As we round up, we invite governments at various levels to take action on almajiri children, cultists, area boys and drug addiction among children now because they constitute threats to society. These threats can be reduced to the barest minimum within afew years if we commence action now. We also charge FG in particular and all state governments (except Lagos) to extend women’s maternity leave to six months.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)