Prof. Ishaq Akintola, Director, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has urged all tiers of government to focus on the rehabilitation of children involved in all forms of anti-social vices.
In a statement to mark Children’s Day celebration, Akintola said that special centers should be established by government at federal, state and local government levels for re-engineering of the minds of children who were victims of anti-social vices.
“As children around the world are being celebrated today, more than 10 million al-majiri children face exposure to illiteracy, disease, hunger, starvation, homelessness and child abuse.
“Although the al-majiri system exists mainly in Northern Nigeria, the health and future of a larger number of under-aged Nigerians are being slowly destroyed by cultism, drug abuse and the area-boys syndrome.
“The al-majiri practice whereby parents send their children out to mallams only to abandon them there to start begging is therefore contrary to the teachings of Islam.
“Such parents will be accountable to Allah on the Day of Judgement.
“We cannot turn blind eye when thousands of under-aged children are taking harmful drugs like tramadol and codeine thereby filling our homes with junkies.
“The insecurity faced by Nigeria today can be traced to parental neglect and ignorance. We should therefore own up and stop blaming government alone for the pervading insecurity in the country,” he said.
Akintola appealed to the Federal Government to follow the good example of the Lagos State Government by raising women’s maternity leave from three to six months.
“Parents’ responsibilities start from children’s infancy when the mother must breastfeed her infant for two whole years in order to make the child wholly human.
“Children who are breastfed for less period end up being less human because mechanized milk only ends up endowing children with animalistic traits, exposure to opportunistic diseases and a stunted mental growth.
“It should be noted that paediatricians now recommend that women should give their infants breastmilk only for the first six months after birth.
“This reveals the divine originality of Islam as only the 1,400 years old Glorious Qur’an recommends this among all other scriptures,” he added.
He urged governments at various levels to take immediate action on almajiri children, cultists, area boys and drug addiction among children because they constitute threats to society.
“These threats can be reduced to the barest minimum within a few years if we commence action now,” the Islamic scholar said.