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NSA Raises Fresh Concern on Almajiri

The National Security Adviser, Maj-Gen Babagana Monguno (retd), on Wednesday raised a fresh concern over the Almajiri system in the North, saying the country could no longer afford to sweep it under the carpet.

Monguno, who spoke at the launch of the National Security Strategy, 2019 by President Muhammadu Buhari, said the Almajiri issue must be addressed as part of the solution to insecurity in the country.

The new security road map is a revised version of the first strategy that was launched in 2014 to address present-day security challenges.

At the event,  Buhari said  that a safer, secure nation was the main objective of the Federal Government’s new security strategy.

He said this would be implemented through collaboration between all the security agencies and the ministries, departments and agencies of the government.

But explaining the strategy further, Monguno explained how evolving security trends called for the urgency to introduce  methods   different from what was applicable five years ago.

He cited how armed conflicts in the Sahel region had a connection with the insurgency, banditry and kidnapping affecting Nigeria, adding that in the Niger Delta, the emergence of criminal gangs, piracy and pipeline vandalism was also linked.

However, Monguno disclosed that embedded in the new strategy was a comprehensive approach to address poverty, healthcare delivery challenges and out of school children, particularly the Almajiri system.

He stated, “It addresses the current threats faced by the Nigerian nation as well as those threats that are anticipated to emerge in the near future.

“We have also proffered an appropriate strategy to address these threats which demand a whole of government approach in combination with a whole of nation to achieve a whole of societal approach in dealing with these challenges”, he said.

Citing how the Almajiri system could overwhelm Nigeria in the future, the NSA spoke in detail, “Rooted in the strategy are issues that may not be visible to the naked eyes, but have tended to be malignant to cause greater problems to this society.

“Fundamentally, if we are going to take care of these problems, we need to try and safeguard the fast-growing young population of Nigeria and guess what? We need to look at issues of poverty eradication and illiteracy. The issue of illiteracy is directly linked to the issue of children not going to school. This Almajiri phenomenon, which we have been talking about, we cannot continue to push it under the carpet. Eventually, it will come back to bite us in the butt, big time; we need to deal with this issue and it is the responsibility of all of us to try and take care of this issue without any inhibition.

“I will tell you one thing, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, in its pursuit for greater and enhanced security, will not allow itself to be blackmailed or handcuffed by the disarming philosophy of compliance with certain aspects that are socio-cultural in nature…We must grab the bull by the horns and deal with these issues.”


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