By SALIHI ABUBAKAR BELLO, Kano:
Amid discussions on the ban of street begging in Kano state as recently announced by Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Sheikh Ali Ibrahim Pantami has faulted the position taken by some Islamic scholars rejecting the governor’s decision.
He made this observation while answering questions from Journalists immediately after he presented a paper at the Pre-Convocation Lecture organised by Kano State Polytechnic, that took place at School of Technology, Kano, Friday.
“What I am saying about this issue is, it is not appropriate for my brothers, Islamic scholars to come forth and be challenging the governor just like that. They should come and sit together to come up with solution on how to remedy the situation, on the way out,” he advised.
Dr Pantami further argued that, “Because there is no doubt that taking those children back to school is the right thing to do. And is beneficial to the Almajiris, their parents and the society at large. From the part of the government, as a leader he has the responsibility of seeing how to make his people live well.”
Calling on the scholars to understand that, if there is anything new or strange, then create a way of sitting to discuss it and see how to clear away the problem. “It is just an advice,” he mentioned.
Indicating his interest to be part of any discussion group about the issue if it happens that a committee is raised to discuss it, that, “And I want to be part of any such discussion, in a group form, if it appears to be raised,” he urged.
He challenged that, “We all have children. My children are with me. I feed them myself. You know feeding of children is the responsibility or their parents. If there are orphans we know how our society is concerned and considerate to them and their condition of living. I was raised in my father’s home. I saw how orphans were also fed and being taken care of by our parents.”
Pantami said “First and foremost we all know that begging is not a religious activity or obligation. It is just something of necessity, for somebody to say he doesn’t have anything to feed himself. And as I know how concerned the governor is, he will not come up with a policy that will harm or destroy the life of beggars. I am sure there is a plan in place on how to assist such kind of people.”
While commending the policy of free and compulsory education, the Communications and Digital Economy Minister, said as somebody who studied the Holy Qur’an and acquired “worldly education” as he calls it, he knows that whatever is brought forth that can provide space for free and compulsory education, that thing is a welcome development.
“We are commending the effort of the Kano state government on this free and compulsory education. We encourage people to take their children to school to benefit from this laudable initiative. Any population that is given education will succeed in life. And the life of that society will not be wasted,” Pantami encourages.
Earlier in his paper presentation for the Pre-Convocation, Dr Pantami praised the Ganduje administration for being concerned about skills acquisition for the people in the state, he was particular about the just completed Ultra Modern Skills Acquisition Centre, established by the Ganduje administration and named after the Chairman of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote.