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The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) on Monday called on the upper and lower legislative Chambers to come up with laws that would criminalise child abandonment by parents in Nigeria.
The MURIC director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, in a statement issued in Lagos, said parents should be accountable and responsible enough in the training of their children so as to reduce incidents of child neglect.
“We are worried about the large number of children roaming the streets. These are the leaders of tomorrow.
“Our children are our strength but that is only if we give them proper upbringing through a balanced education otherwise they become a sword of Damocles hanging above our heads.
He said parents are under compulsion to educate their children.
“The Glorious Qur’an chapter 2 verse 233 charges parents (particularly fathers) to provide the basic necessities of life including food, accommodation and clothing,” he said
“It is therefore a gross dereliction of parental responsibility to send children to the streets to beg, hawk or engage in any form of child labour.
“There is also the eschatological correlate in the issue of child bearing. Allah is going to ask parents how well they take care of their children,” he said.
He said it was sad to note that the permission to marry more than one wife which was contained in Qur’an chapter 4 verse 3 was often abused and misunderstood.
“Men ignore the provision contained in the same verse that marrying more than one wife is only permitted if he has the ability to provide adequately for the extra wives and the children.
“The existence of about 10 million almajiri children is an alarming phenomenon.
“More so the gory sight of thousands of children and young hawkers running after vehicles for the purpose of making sales and thereby getting their daily bread is symptomatic of governmental failure.
“These roaming youth are time bombs. We cannot solve the problem of crime proliferation without securing the future of our young ones,”
“It is not enough to arrest child-hawkers. Their parents, particularly the fathers, should be arrested, detained and prosecuted.
“There should be a law that empowers law enforcement agents to take an almajiri to his father’s house for the purpose of arresting the father and making him face the law,” he said.
He urged Imams to reform the Friday Khutbah (sermon) on the minbar (pulpit) to suit the needs of society. (NAN)
- Prince Abdulrahman Obaje is a Media and ICT Consultant, Journalist, online marketer, social media strategist, Mathematician and Computer Scientist based in Abuja, Nigeria. He is the Founder and the Publisher of The Informavores!. You can reach me on +234 908 6937 780 or send i-witness report directly to me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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