“Nigerians should be at alert to monitor the use of the released fund from the US government, because in a democracy, you don’t give anybody power or resources and go to sleep. If the money is going to be left in the hands of a few and irresponsible people, then, there will be serious trouble. So, all of us must put our eyes there and ensure that it is used purposefully. If this is not done, then, we are not running a democracy”
These are the reactions of a former lawmaker in the second republic, and a Russian-trained Neurologist ,Dr. Junaid Muhammed, who spoke with our Editor in a telephone conversation from Kano yesterday morning. He spoke on why he supports the return of Almajiris to their respective states and stop the nuisance they constituted across the country. He also charged Nigerians to ensure that the $311 Abacha’s loot recovered from the United State of America is used for its purpose. Daniel Njienue and Sunny Atam report
-May 9, 2020, news/interview
What is your opinion on the return of Almajiris to their states of Origin?
I don’t see anything wrong in returning the almajiris to their home-if the law provides for that, then, I see nothing wrong with it. However, in pursuit of a legitimate business, one can live in any part of Nigeria, but begging is not a legitimate business and it has been labeled as illegal business which the Alamajiris have been doing for long in different parts of the country.
But Sir, if the idea of returning Almajiris was from southern or western governors, don’t you think, it would have generated controversies,
Well, there were attempts in the past by governors from the south and east, including some parts of the north to return back the Almajiris to their state of Origin. So, I don’t see any controversy on that. I am in support of the return of the Almajiris. These are people essentially-have no job and there are no prospect that they will get job. They are not getting the kind of education that will propel them for any job market. Yes, it is bad that some people will bore children and send them to go and beg in the name of Almajiri.
Should we attribute it to the failure of leadership in the north?
Yes and, of course a total absent of political will; there are no two ways about it. In my own life’s time, more than 50 years ago, I remember that people used to complain about the nuisance of the almajiris. Sometimes, when we had altercation, some of these almajiris are given matchets to raid people’s home and steal. My advise is that, measures should be put in place by various governments to send the Almajiris to school and ensure their teachers are paid well. Now, after the little education, let them go farming or to learn a skill.
Who will pay for their bills?
What is the job of the government? It is the job of the government to care for the citizens. However, I don’t think people should simply go and get married and have children and send their children to somebody who they may not know in the city or in some other areas and expect these children to be educated. However, government should do the minimum they can and discourage reproducing and reproducing. At this age, I don’t expect that any child born should be expecting government to pay his or her education, no.
It’s seems the rate of birthday in the north has not been controlled since religious practice there encourages polygamy.
The north is not 100% Muslims, either the south is 100% Christians. So, leave the idea of religion. Anyway, you are a Christian, you know nothing about Islam. Nobody says in Islam you should go and marry if you cannot maintain your wife and children from the marriage. And no Imam will tell you the otherwise. If anybody says the otherwise, tell me, and I will challenge the person.
Nigerian Bureau of Statistics ranked the North as poorest
This shows that northern leaders have failed in their responsibility. The allocation formula in the north is unfair for the development of the country. Investment is lacking, so, they must invest. Northern leaders should invest and stop propaganda because they have failed in their duties.
Comment on Abacha’s loot return and the possible story of diversion of fund
This is not the first time Nigeria is collecting looted fund from foreign countries directly from other governments. My concern as it may, is the judicious use of the fund. What are the areas of needs for the country, do you want to invest in education, the health care, or the so called palliative. The most important here is that, we need to design the palliative, I mean the area the fund will go into. It must be scrupulously and carefully design. This is my very concern.
Are you saying the fund may be diverted or may not be used properly?
I am not sure that the fund would be used judiciously, that is my point, because from the past or from history as a guide under previous administrations where some of these funds were misappropriated and not used for the purpose of development. Some were put as palliatives under the office of the Vice president, and it was mismanaged. Indeed, areas of needs were left out.
Advise on Abacha’s to Nigeria
Nigerians should be at alert to monitor the use of the released fund from the US government, because in a democracy, you don’t give anybody power or resources and go to sleep. If the money is going to be left in the hands of a few and irresponsible people, then, there will be serious trouble. So, all of us must put our eyes there and ensure that it is used purposefully. If this is not done, then, we are not running a democracy. Normally, when you have a representative government or a representative democracy, you imagine that somehow look up to the people elected to take care of some affairs either from the local government or national assemblies, but they have not be able to handle responsibility; it is a sad commentary. I advise every Nigerian to put their eyes on the fund.
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