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‘Prayer, fasting can overcome challenges bedeviling the country’

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REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

Senator representing Kastina Central Senatorial District Kabir Abdullahi Barkiya has urged Nigerians irrespective of their religion to pray and fast to overcome challenges in the country.

Noting that, the role of prayers and fasting in overcoming challenges bedeviling the country couldn’t be ignored.

“Apart from the military action already being waged by the Nigerian Army at the war front, fervent prayers and fasting can also bring an end to the decades of Boko Haram’s terror in Nigeria”.

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Barkiya reiterated that the Boko Haram terrorists are not Muslims even as the group hides under the name of Islam to commit nefarious activities.

He urged the Muslims to see it as a duty to explain to the people, that Boko Haram members are not Muslims because there is nowhere in the Qur’an where Allah said innocent people should be killed, discriminately or indiscriminately.

He however, advised that those who call Boko haram ‘Islamists’ should not be condemned, instead educated.

“The media and other ignorant individuals might probably not be informed about the true teachings of Islam. Of course they should be wise enough to know that this group also kill Muslims, including scholars. But we shouldn’t rebuke or fight them. We need to sensitise them.

He kicked against this move to arrest the ‘Almajiri’ children, noting that it was not well thought out. Saying that arresting them is not the solution to the problem facing children in states in northern Nigeria.

Barkiya argued that it isn’t the fault of the poor children that they are Almajiri, but rather that of their home (their parents) who sent them out without looking back.

According to him, “The issue of Almajiri has a long history. But of course, if you look at it very deeply, Islam doesn’t encourage the Almajiri system because the Qur’an and Hadith say parents, especially mothers are the first teachers of the child. This is why it becomes obligatory for parents to give their children proper Islamic and western education at home.

The Senator further urged the government to design programmes that will be of great benefit to the Almajiri children, adding that most of the children later join bad gangs because they are not catered for.

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“These are basic things we should know, but if we say we should arrest them, then where are we taking them to? The best thing is to sit down and come up with a programme that would assist them because they are children of this country. We cannot reject them.

“Just because they are allowed to roam the streets without adequate care, some of them will eventually join join Boko Haram or other insurgent groups because they are left alone unchecked. When you take someone far away and you do not make adequate provisions for him – feeding, clothing and accommodation – how do you think that child will be good and achieve his potential?

“Assuming now the government says, let’s set aside adequate funds to equip the Almajiri schools to make sure they go through the screening and ensure they have the knowledge taught to them, it would have been a good development. Arresting them is like adding to the existing challenges we are still trying to find remedies for,” he added.

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