Alimajiranci: One Hell of Ideology in 21st Century | By Adediji Wasiu

Now that the Northern elite has united behind a holistic drive to abolish and discredit the ideology of an abusive system that gives birth to extremists, fanaticism who in turn pick arm against the society to get what the society has denied them by all means and, resist those who oppose them with ferocity.

This is the first step towards starving terrorist organisation like bokoharam, the reason to exist, they are the most targeted group for terrorist organization. Since the alimajiri run errands for strangers, scavenges left overs food, sleep on sidewalks and street pavements, they are easy to lure against their own will by bokoharam as bomb carrier, thus, endangered population. So, this approach must be pursued holistically and not in half measures else it becomes a “riverboat gambling.”

Furthermore, the parallel between progressive culture and retrogrssive one must draw, the so called Alimajiri system left children vulnerable to an environment of hopelessness and in their desperation to find food, they often end up become available tool for terrorist group and often adopted as foot soldier, suicide bombers to strike the society. Should such culture continue?

Each time there is an attempt to reform alimajiri system in other to do away with the abuses associated with it, people often mistaken this to be fight against Islam and northern culture, against this background I ask what are the benefits of this system to Islam In fact it has continued to give the religion bad image and majorly the Islamic cleric produced through this method in most cases are half baked cleric, given all sort of opinion that is contradicting to the known established sunnah and ayat of Quran.

Undoubtedly, Islam encourages learning as exemplified in the first Surah of Quran revealed to Prophet Muhammad ( Peace be upon him) says “Iqra Bismillaih Rabbikallazi Khalaq, khalaqal insaana min Alaq, Iqra wa Rabbuka Akram Allazii allama bil Qalam Allama insaana maa ya lam” (read in the name of your lord of your Lord, who created man from clot, read and the Lord is the most bounteous, Who teach with pen, Teachth man that which he knew knot) this emphasis the importance of knowledge , however, we know that through civilizations, different kinds of knowledge, has brought the progresses of man in different fields pivot on the existence of the ‘pen’ thus this surah encourage learning, because learning has always been a part of every intellectual society.

However, learning must be done in a way that promotes both the basic human and society values in conformity with modern style and this can’t be achieved by subjecting the children to physical, sexual, and intellectual abuse.

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In my view, Alimajiri system have out leave it usefulness in this age of globalization, or else it’s married with modern learning technique to bring the uniqueness of the system if there is any. Almajiri originally set up as part of the wider Islamic practice of dedication to learning, intention of the Almajiri system of education cannot be faulted due to religious and socio-cultural needs of the society committed through learning by heart but today due to poor infrastructure, lack of government firm control and abysmal quality of teachers in alimajiri system, the failure of this system became more acute pronounced thus it has become synonymous to seeking alms, begging, and sometimes engaging in criminal activity as a result of their basic survival needs not being met.

Undoubtedly, the ideologies of Alimajiri is what give birth to terrorism in the northern region and and to extinguish fanaticism and terrorism, it cannot be prevent by the use of force alone, it root causes must be address by placing emphases on education of the destitute in the society towards creating a balance system that offers mind lifting teachings before reuniting them back to the society.

We must acknowledge that the Boko Haram, banditry etc wars that have raged in Borno, Maiduguri, Yobe, and other northeast state has being on because there is nexus between the Boko Haram organization and alimajiri, of which the military approach alone have proven not to be a total solution despite huge amount billions of budgeted each year since the war started, it’s time we adopt intellectual approach by targeting it’s root causes.

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It’s time to redefine the context of alimajiri in today’s global knowledge economy by reengaging the almajiri children in a productive endeavor in other to end this abusive system that has continue to make them a suspectible tool in the hand of bokoharam against their wishes.

To defeat this embodiment of a malicious ideology, it is first necessary to define exactly what is the relationship between alimajirci and slow pace of human development index in the north, what future this moribund system has to offer in the near future, and why is it necessary to get rid of it or to continue. I leave you to answer those questions in the best objectively.

The solution has three components, the first approach is winning the battle using intellectual approach this begin by concerted political will to totally do away with alimajiri system. Notwithstanding, the solution can’t be achieved without the cooperation of the district heads, traditional rulers, ulama , parents, civil society organisations and the government. The north can’t afford to fold it arm, ignore the danger on the horizon, another vicious cycle of war won’t do the region any better than self destruction.

Also,  setting them up for greatness, It’s by counter this abusive and malignant ideology through proper rehabilitation by enlightened and open up their minds through counselling before reuniting them back to the society, else doing otherwise will impacts the society, the extent to which no one can predict, such flames know no borders. Only one thing can stop a mind who is ready to die for fictional seven (7) virgin, a stronger ideology and counseling that convinces him that such ideology or believe have no place in Islam.

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Lastly, the region is home to more than 70 million young people , this period offers government the opportunity to inspire them with hope and do everything necessary to improve the quality of life by flatten the poverty curve in the region, and improve the quality of education. it’s not enough to build fine structures without capacity to run it and to create economic opportunities for their sustainable development.

In my view, this is the most sustainable answer and alternative to alimajiri. I am optimistic, because I know that the people of the north with their hardworking derserves stability and prosperity that are stronger and more enduring than opportunistic and destructive alimajiri ideas.

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