Kano Council of Ulamas has challenged the decision of the state government on banning of street begging, insisting such policy should not emanate through mere pronouncement.
Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje declared street begging illegal, and ordered the arrest of any child beggar in the state.
Ganduje who spoke while unveiling basic education distribution services as part of integrated policy of free education for Almagiri also threatened to charge parents of such child beggars to court.
Addressing journalists in Kano, Chairman of the council, Sheik Ibrahim Khalil who challenged Ganduje’s policy insisted the government lacks the political will to enforce the plan.
Sheik Khalil explained that empirical evidence on banning of street begging has clearly shown lack of sincerity of purpose, added that Ganduje’s pronouncement will no less amount to a waste of time and resources.
The Islamic scholar had challenged the state government to rather address the major cause of child beggar in Kano, instead of imposing a policy that may not stand the test of time.
Sheik Khalil who alleged that Kano state government was rather in rush to take action on Almagiris to appease international donor for monetary gains insisted the government is yet to take the right step.
“The main problem is that the policy will not last just like what pass government did. Even the government that says it has barred begging is not serious about it. It will ban it and after a while, it will return.
Just like the Hausa saying ‘The king’s instruction last only seven days’. For me, I think the steps by which begging could effectively be banned are not followed at all by Governor Ganduje.
“The right steps to follow in banning street begging include firstly, the Quranic clerics involved have to be identified. Because there are street beggars who are Quranic students, there are beggars who are sent by their parents, there are also physically challenged individuals.
All these forms of street beggars need to be identified and each one is addressed accordingly. But they have not done that.
Sheik Khalid who was not opposed to government decision reminded that for the policy to work effectively, the government must involve local Quranic clerics to understand the statistics and why the children engage in begging.
The leader of the Ulama also insisted Kano cannot executive the banning policy alone without concerted involvement of neighbouring states, where a large percentage of the children migrated to Kano.
“If you want to stop street begging you have to come up with a perfect plan that will bring together, the Quranic teachers, the wealthy in the society, religious organizations, non-religious organizations and other stakeholders, to deliberate and even found the perfect plan that would be implemented. It is the citizens that should be used along with the Quranic teachers.
“To us at the Council of Ulama, the government cannot do it and is not serious about it. They are just doing it to appease their masters abroad, or get their money or some kind of noisemaking.
“Or they might have been accused of something from somewhere for which they simply organise a ceremony and that is all. That is our opinion. The government is not serious and cannot do it because it has not taken the right steps to it”, Sheik Ibrahim lamented.