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Between the Traditional and Modern Almajiri in Northern Nigeria

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Between the traditional and modern almajiri in northern Nigeria

By: Yusuf Adamu

The Almajiri system has been in practice since time immemorial in northern Nigeria. People from the northwest and north central travelled hundreds of kilometres to fine Islamic education for their children in the far northeast, and Borno state happens to be the centre for Islamic studies. At that time, the Almajiri (a person seeking knowledge) is seen and respected as one chosen divinely to study and keep certain religious tradition  teaching.

Traditionally, the almajiri is not a street beggar, a homeless person or persons with questionable character as seen in today’s system. Perhaps politics in northern Nigeria has changed a lot of things in the way and manner the almajiri is perceived. Certainly there are changes in the way and manner the modern almajiri is seen differently from those we used to know while growing up as children in Kaduna in the 60s.

From what I can recall, the people from Borno have been practicing what we called the Madrasa, where people from far and near brings their wards to learn and study the Holy Quran in the most dignifying way. People from Kano, Katsina, and as far as Sokoto brings their children to a teacher or Malam and it must be a person they know and have certain association with. They hand over children to them so that these teachers will teach these children the way of Islam through the study of the Quran. These Children like any other child lives a descent life and practice what they are being taught. They do not roam the street or engage in an unholy way. But they are always around their Madrasatu unless engaged in some labour to keep the learning rolling.

Of course! These children also work for their livelihoods through farming. They are usually engaged in farming for their teachers. This is also where they feed. Their movements and activities are being monitored and controlled by their teachers and at the end of their studies they go back to their various states to become useful to their families, immediate environments and states from which they came.

A lot of leaders from Kano, Katsina, Sokoto and the rest of the north, who are  important personalities in Nigeria today, have gone through the Madrasatu system. Some of them are big politician, business men and respected Quranic teachers or Ulamas. We have a lot of them in country, and others are making waves in Niger, Chad, Cameroon and the central African republic.

In the 60s, while growing up, for those who are in Maiduguri or rather when you visited Borno, there is this Islamic family system in place, which you would notice, a situation whereby food cooked in various houses are brought out and people eat in group to show love and brotherliness without regards to who is eating the food so long as you are hungry and come to eat food – you are always welcomed. Today, that system is gone – a history and story only being told to children like the almajiri system of those days.

My elder brother was taken to Maiduguri and subsequently move to the village from Kaduna to go and learn as well as study the Quran. He was never said to be roaming streets or begging for food to eat or doing other uncalled assignment or duties but devotion to the calling and the will of Allah upon his life as almajiri who is studying the Quran in a traditionally, acceptable and respected way.

The situation today with the almajiri system or what we called the modern day almajiri system is pathetic and calls for concern. Everything has changed, everything keeps deteriorating by the day. The situation is getting alarming with constant claims and counter claims on the system of almajiri education in the north. Recently, issues with Covid-19 and the almajiri child calls for serious concern on national debat. The question remains, what is the future of the almajiri child in modern day Nigeria? The government has to come in and intervene, however, this most not also create or add burden to state governments who are already burden with a lot of problems with very little resources to take care of the needs.

This is the time, the federal government comes up with special interventions not only for the almajiri child but also for other children facing the same fate like the almajiri child in other parts or the country. A special project to fund the system in the north as well as look at other problems facing other part of the country and have their own checks to strike a balance. There is need to create special fund from the federal account to coordinate and control the almajiri school. This must be done under the supervision of the state government and I believe with states like Borno and the demonstrative act of governance shown by the present administrator more would be achieved.

In the north, the state governments can also contribute to the almajiri school by providing land for this and other purposes. Also, a study of how other countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan and India are doing in their own country where Madrasatu system is still in existence.

The University of Madina is an Islamic school where people go to learn or study the Quran. People should be able to see the difference between Islamic studies and the almajiri system of education and also distinguish between traditional almajirai we know and the modern day almajirai that are associated with evil vises in the northern Nigeria.

* Yusuf Adamu is the former political adviser to ex-Borno state governor, Kashim Shettima

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Opinion

Buni: A tireless and resolute champion

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Buni : A tireless and resolute champion 

By Haruna Yusuf 

His excellency, Mai Mala Buni, the executive Governor of Yobe state and the chairman of the ruling all progressive congress (APC) caretaker/Extraordinary national convention.Buni is always known to be a game changer and it is believed he has whatever it takes to turn around the fortunes of his state to the best and also bring back sanity in APC.
Buni’s antecedents stem from the beginning of his political career as a ward councillor at a tender age and rose rather rapidly through the political atmosphere of Yobe to the National/Secretary, now caretaker chairman of the ruling all progressive congress. 

There are times when we make history and there times when history makes us, Buni’s main characteristics are resilience, consistency, knowledge, people -skill, motivational approach and leading by example..What really made him great is, his foresight, vision, strategic planning and ability to serve, a leader par excellence. 

Loyalty is something one should take very seriously, because loyalty is everything, whether it’s a  friendship, relationship or a boss as an example. Putting your trust in someone and being loyal to them is something that is rare this days and hard to come by, people are brought up in different ways based on culture and believes, but what made Buni genuine is loyalty, consistency and honesty at all times, he is brave in his thinking and daring in action, that’s why he accomplishes everything he stands for and this assignment of reconciliation and bringing back sanity in APC is not and would not be an exception.

Today everyone can see Buni’s report card, he has scored extremely well, he has shown prudence especially in the use of merger resources of his state and the assignment of bringing sanity back in the ruling all progressive (congress APC) as the caretaker chairman. He is quite, very peaceful, not a noise maker but delivering on the job he signed for. Even as a National secretary of the ruling party he towered above his contemporaries in being an astute manager of people, a discipline leader and someone to be trusted with the state’s lean treasury to perform miracle, that lends credence to why we should appreciate the courage and sincerity of purpose of this personality in rising to the sacred state and national duty. 

Gov. Buni has so far, proved to be the best in governance and service delivery mandate, a level headed leader who is beyond reproach, he comes as consensus builder and one individual who will never improve himself at the expense of the people of the state, he is known and certified to be an astute manager of people and All-inclusive leader at all times.

Buni before now, has maintained a constraint office of the ruling all progressive congress (APC) National secretary, a role that comes with high visibility, but average  authority, still when judged by how well he was able to operate within the ambit, his records are strong, exemplary, transparent and committed in resolving internal crisis, this offers good example of Buni’s leadership style before emerging the Yobe state Governor. 

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Gov. Buni Restoring Sanity in APC

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Gov. Buni Restoring Sanity in APC 

By Haruna Yusuf Abuja 

The chairman of the ruling All progressive congress (APC) caretaker/Extraordinary National convention committee and the Yobe state Governor, Hon. Mai Mala Buni is an astute manager of people and an all inclusive leader who carries everyone along irrespective of tribe, religion or political inclination. On assumption of office as the caretaker chairman of the ruling all progressive congress, the first and bold step he took was to pay homage/consult to the party leaders, he first visited Bisi Akande who is also relevant in the party politics before meeting with the cofounder Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu to seek for support and advice on how to sanitize and bring back all the aggrieved members who left or stopped participating in the party affairs for one reason or the other.  

The APC caretaker chairman, in his inaugural address after members of the committee were inaugurated assured party members that his led committee would work tirelessly on both short and long term strategies to reposition and bring the lost sanity back to the party, but all he will need is the support and cooperation of the members in other to achieve the reconciliation exercise, all hands must be on deck. 

This is therefore another opportunity for Buni to bring complete sanity 
back in APC, with his courage of conviction and sense of purpose as the national secretary of the party for 5 years, it is time to show the world what he has achieved in the task to chart the critical path to total political and economic emancipation of the people from the grip of PDP in the 2015 general elections. 

With all modesty, one political truth about Buni, is that he is a man gifted with a high degree of intelligence, experience, charismatic leadership and steadfastness needed to fix and restore sanity in APC, with his political insight in the game. Hon. Mai Mala Buni is among those who ushered in the current political dispensation and was the pioneer Yobe state chairman of the Action congress (AC) and later the All Nigeria People Party (ANPP) who are both legacy of APC. 

No one can go back in time to change what has happened, so, let’s work on the present to make our party one united family and stronger, Buni said. politicians will always have one of their own because the National chairman of the ruling  All progressive congress (APC) Hon. Mai Mala Buni was Born and bred by politics, he became a councillor when the NRC and SDP were birthed. Records of Buni’s Journey through the maze of Nigeria politics indicates that though he may have been or still is the most charismatic and industrious servant, his sweetest dreams somehow always seem to evade him at the moment he needs them the most. 

Gov. Buni is one man you’ll always want in your corner during political battle s, his frankness on issues is second to none and always maintained his word. In his few days as the National Chairman of the ruling all progressive congress (APC) he demonstrated to party members and Nigeria as a whole that ” he who calls for equity must come with clean hands” making it clear that the party can contain all and sundry, also ready and willing to resolve all issues with every aggrieved member. That the door is always opened for negotiation and welcoming new members to the progressives. 

Mai Mala Buni is known as Mr “Fixer” on his assumption of office he has received Dogara Yakubu and Senator Isah Misau the two powerful political gladiators from Bauchi, Returnees from across the states and he reconciled Edo/Ondo and put in place machineries ahead of the elections.
He reconciled all the APC state chairmen and pleaded with all the aggrieved party members who left to come back and partake in the affairs of the party, that’s the beginning of the return of sanity in APC. 

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Opinion

How Gov. Buni’s Giant Strides will Turn The Fortunes Of Yobeans Around

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How Gov. Buni’s Giant Strides Will Turn The Fortunes Of Yobeans Around 

By Haruna Yusuf

Yobe state, a society with a rich history, with sons and daughters who have excelled and continue to excel in all fields of endeavour within the country and in many parts of the world; An agrarian state with huge economic potential has came to limelight in this led administration of Hon. Mai Mala Buni, the government is working aggressively to get Yobe back to reckoning by creating wealth and new jobs within different sectors, like training, infrastructure financing and access to skills and acquisition among others.

Yobe is becoming a shinning example of what governance should be about at all levels. Buni’s administration is a government that is dedicated to service and partnership with the people are engendered by trust, the government is open, transparent, honest and unpretentious all the time.

Since his assumption of office as the democratically elected Governor on 29may 2019, governance in Yobe has been tagged “promise made & kept”  because it has not been a pleasure ride as usual, it became serious business. Serious business doesn’t keep your shoes clean and the captain also doesn’t suffer his with such unnecessary pleasures he matches on, leading the change and never panting despite of the movements energized pace, no one cares to dare a tall man, you’d be left behind. 

The first achievement was on education, as education is the first priority of a child, been the fountain of knowledge that we are branded as, and education can become a means to an end, and can be deployed for economic growth and ensure it makes significant impacts in the life of the society.

The infrastructural sector in Buni’s government is one of a kind, in the course of giving dividend of democracy to the people. His administration keyed into projects that will impact directly in the life of the people, projects that enhance economic development and social stability in the state. The construction of Trailer Transit park and mechanic village in potiskum. The 3,600 housing units that cut across  the state, the Sunday market that is almost about completion to a modern standard, it will bring about revenue generation, empowerment of traders and also promote environmental sanitation. 

 Gov. Mai Mala Buni noted that the more reflects the policy of his administration to provide quality and affordable housing to the people of his state. inline with the united nations sustainable development Goals( SDGs) we believe that affordable housing is a key marker of social progress when people have comfortable accommodations, they are more likely to have right frame of mind to engage in meaningful socioeconomic activities. 

Buni triggered revolution on agriculture as Yobe is an agrarian state, thus, agriculture becomes a veritable engine growth, he distributed 108 tractors to the 17 local government areas and provide fertilizers at a subsidized price to ease farmers suffering. He also signed a pack with the kingdom of morocco to bring about modern mechanized system of farming and the production of high quality and value added products and also publicize the abundant hidden natural resources to the limelight of the world.

As part of Buni’s determination to institute a functional primary healthcare system, 178 healthcare facilities is ongoing in the 17 local government areas of the state and assigned the personnel required to manage them effectively. An MOU was also signed between Yobe Government, Bill & Melinda gates & Dangote foundations to carter for the state on primary healthcare services. Free Dialysis for kidney patients and free medical services for pregnant women till they give birth, medical service for accident victims irrespective of state, if you’re in Yobe or it occurred around the state.

Gov. Buni’s government empowers youths, women and less privileged through state emergency management (SEMA) and sustainable development Goals (SDGs) training and empowering them with necessary equipment and cash to takeoff. 

Buni’s frankness on issues is second to none, he says it as it is, to whoever it is, at whatever time matters come to a head, that’s why he is known to be a man with few words. Today everyone can see his record card, he has scored extremely well and shown prudence especially in the use of resources of the state. That lends credence to why we should appreciate the courage and sincerity of purpose of this personality in rising to the sacred state and national duties.

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