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Elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, has said the refusal of the Muhammadu Buhari administration to build on the successes recorded by the Goodluck Jonathan government has largely contributed to the difficulty in finding solutions to the Almajiri menace in the North.
Yakasai said this in a telephone interview with Punch Newspaper Correspondent on Tuesday in Abuja.
He was reacting to the issues raised by the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, during the 60th birthday celebration of Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai.
The monarch said the North was destroying itself by refusing to invest in the future of its children.
He also said the quota system, which some have argued was skewed in favour of the North, was no longer fashionable.
Yakasai said, “Goodluck Jonathan who was not a northerner considered the Almajiri problem a Nigerian problem; even though the practice is predominantly in the North.
“He took practical steps to find a lasting solution to this problem.
“He built and equipped schools where these children who are roaming the streets will be housed and given Western and Islamic education to make them useful to themselves and society.
“What has happened to this initiative? We now have a northerner as President and a northerner as Minister of Education, have they even considered fine-tuning this initiative if they find the previous attempt defective?
“We must begin to tell ourselves the truth. Times are changing, we as a people must make the necessary adjustments to change with the times.
“It is not enough to say we have a problem; we must bring solutions and be prepared to take steps to implement these solutions when they are brought forward.”
An All Progressives Congress leader, Alhaji Abdullahi Jalo, said while federal might was important in the search for solutions to the problems in the North, the bulk of the solutions lie with the state governments.
Jalo said, “We have to consider the fact that we have about 10 or so northern states where this problem is prevalent.
“I know Kano and Kaduna states are doing something to address this challenge. It is a serious problem and to solve it, we need to sensitise the people from the local level because this issue is more cultural than religious.”
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