The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi, on Thursday, implored Nigerians, especially Muslims, to give birth to the number of children they can cater for.
Mr Sanusi gave this advice while speaking at the opening of the 108th edition of Islamic Vacation Course (IVC), organised by the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) Zone B, held at IVC Permanent Camp, along Lagos-Ibadan expressway in Ogun State.
The Kano monarch expressed a similar view in Kano a few days earlier.
Mr Sanusi, while speaking on the array of social problems bedeviling Nigeria, insisted that the ‘almajri’ challenge in Northern Nigeria is not a religious concern, but a social issue that needs urgent attention.
The almajiri challenge involves out-of-school children who are sent, often by their parents, to Islamic clerics to live and learn Quranic knowledge but often end up begging and doing menial work on the streets. Millions of almajri children roam Northern Nigerian streets amidst efforts of local and federal authorities to solve the problem.
While maintaining that there is a need to get all out of school children back to school, Mr Sanusi said that men should imbibe the habit of marrying the number of women they can cater for.
“If we continue this way, about 40 per cent extremely poor people will be in Nigeria. Poverty in the South West is 20 per cent, in the North, it is 80 per cent, Lagos is 8 per cent and Zamfara, it is 91 per cent.
“We have been talking about almajri for over 30 years. Why are people having family that they cannot maintain? Why are people marrying wives that they cannot maintain? The condition is that you are able to provide for your family.
“Instead of having many children, why not have the ones you can cater for? These are the fundamental questions we should ask ourselves. Most of these children roaming about the streets will be adult in the next 20 years and they will be the ones recruited as political thugs by the politicians in the next twenty years, if we don’t take good care of them now.
“This is my own advice that we must look at. These are not religious issues, they are social issues that need to be addressed”.