Senator Shehu Sani on Tuesday slammed Governor Umar Abdulahi Ganduje of Kano State over the ban on Almajiri street begging in the state which the governor had declared to encourage children to go to school. But the senator appeared to have misfired this time in his criticism of the Kano Governor on the policy of replacing street begging with free and compulsory education in primary and secondary schools in the state.
Governor Ganduje had declared that primary and secondary education are free and compulsory in Kano State, encouraging those classified as Almajiri to get off street begging and acquire education. The governor also warned that parents of children caught begging on the street would be arrested, not the children. Thus, no parent should send his or her child on street begging; that is prohibited in Kano State mow.
Senator Shehu Sani, former representative of Kaduna State in the National Assembly, took to his official twitter handle @ShehuSani to draw the attention of Governor Ganduje that the more important issue is to address fundamental factors pushing the children into street begging. He argued that if the factors are not addressed, even though the law is punitive, it will only yield temporary result.
Shehu Sani on his twitter handle wrote: “A law no matter how punitive can’t stop or end begging. “Many states tried it in the last twenty years, it never worked.
“The Economic, Social, Religious and Cultural contributing factors must be addressed. A law enforced can disperse them for a while and the factors will return them.”
However, there are indicators that Shehu Sani missed the point on this. Perhaps, he would have been more concerned about an enlightenment process that will encourage the people to accept and acquire western education which will empower them in their future life. Poverty can also be addressed through education empowerment. The senator was pre-occupied with the immediate, putting the future in jeopardy.
The Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido II, has for long been advocating ways to end the Almajiri system in the north, part of which he identified as acquiring western education.
Gnaduje may not have had flaws in the education policy. Shehu Sani’s pressing factors appear secondary and they can be resolved in the long through acquiring education. The Kano State government would, however, require potent advocacy and enlightenment to persuade the people to key into the policy, essentially as the state government has made education free in primary and secondary schools.
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