By Fikayo Olowolagba
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), a human rights organization, on Monday called on the Federal Government to arrest parents of any child hawking on the streets.
MURIC Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, in a statement issued in Lagos, urged NASS to criminalize child abandonment by parents in Nigeria.
He expressed worry over the influx of hawkers on the streets, adding that, ‘youths roaming the streets are a waiting time bomb or may become a sword of Damocles hanging above our heads.”
“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.
“Nigerian children North and South are not receiving necessary attention. Thousands are hawking wares on the streets. They hold bowls begging in traffic gridlocks.
“MURIC calls on the National Assembly (NASS) and all state legislatures in the country to set the machinery in motion for criminalising child abandonment.
“Men who fail to educate or train their children and allow them to roam the streets should be held accountable.
“The Glorious Qur’an chapter 2 verse 233 charges parents (particularly fathers) to provide the basic necessities of life.
“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.
“ Allah is going to ask parents how well they take care of their children.
“Men ignore the proviso 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 children.
Akintola further called on the government to arrest fathers of Almajiris caught on the street, describing their existence as alarming.
This is coming at a time when the governor of Kano State, Ganduje banned street begging in the state.
“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 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 added. (Daily Post).