Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum has submitted that except drastic steps are taken by the government, the Almajiri system can become an issue of security concern in the nearest future.
This is as he argued that they may become easy recruits for the Boko Haram terrorist group and other criminal elements in the society.
Zulum made his view known on Thursday while speaking in Yola the Adamawa State capital during the third northeast Governors’ forum meeting.
“Another issue, which unquestionably needs to be urgently tackled is the almajiri phenomenon and its associated challenges, which are increasingly having a telling effect on the overall socio-economic development of the society.
“Unless the almajiri system is completely overhauled along the lines of its original objectives, we may end up having to deal with an army of perhaps untrainable youths who inadvertently become vulnerable to the influence of social misfits like kidnappers and bandits and even terror groups like the Boko Haram insurgents.
“It is a problem common to all of us and it needs both multi-dimensional and individually selective approach, based on the general and specific peculiarities of the system in each state,” he said.
He noted further that as leaders, there is the need to restore the confidence of the people based on the lingering issues of insecurity in the region fueled by the activities of Boko Haram terrorists, bandits, kidnappers and other insurgents.
He lamented that this has affected the socio-economic activities in many states of the region.
“There is, however, absolute need for us to seriously look into how to stimulate and renew the confidence and trust of our people in the ability of our security forces to contain the palpable threats, being posed by the continued presence of the insurgents. This is to ensure that our people are adequately protected and sufficiently guaranteed to open up and go about their normal socio-economic and business activities, without fear of being attacked or kidnapped or even forcefully being recruited by the insurgents.
“Another frightfully shocking social problem, which, unfortunately, is becoming widespread in our sub-region, is that of rape. We must find a way of protecting our women and girls from the intolerable and aggressive demeanour of rapists.
“While it is essential to embark on a massive enlightenment campaign on the dangers associated with rape, there is need also to domesticate the federal law against rape, in our respective states, based on the peculiarities and special circumstances of each state,” Zulum added.
The Borno Governor urged other governors in the region to come up with urgent strategic plans to combat the insecurity in the region before it escalates further and improve the welbeing of residents.
He said; “As a result, inter-state road travel is becoming a virtual impossibility for the people, because of the palpable danger of abduction along most of the major roads. It is, therefore, a matter of strategic imperative for us to give considerable attention to how to deal effectively with the problem and give our people a sense of sufficient and sustainable protection whenever they travel out.
“Unless we regard it as a matter of urgent priority, the phenomenon may escalate, as it is currently happening in some states, where there are persistent reports of innocent people being daringly kidnapped even within the safety of their homes.
“This is already happening in states like Kano and Kaduna. I hope the Committee of Attorneys-General, which has been given a special assignment on the issue, would come up with concrete and appropriate legal framework to deal with the phenomenon.”
Source: Naija News