ARMSTRONG ALLAHMAGANI, Bauchi
Former Imo State Governor, Sen. Owelle Rochas Okorocha, has said that the best way to tackle the almajiri problem in the country particularly in the north is for everyone to see them (almajiris) as human beings.
He also advocated that the Arabic system of education should be combined with the conventional school system.
Okorocha said: “I am in Bauchi on the invitation of Sheik Usman Dahiru Bauchi who invited me for this year’s Maulud. I was given an award as Sarkin Yakin Talakawa by the Tijjaniniya and also the Garkwuwan almajairi (Ambassador of almajiris) and I think it has to do with my passionate appeal that the lives of the almajiris should be made better in this country.
“I am calling on all and sundry, the rich and government to see what they can do to help the situation and to see how we can fight poverty together, and not blaming the children (almajiris) and making them become guilty of offences they didn’t commit because they did not bring themselves to this world.
“The best way to address the almajiri issue is first of all, government must accept the fact that these almajiris are our children and once we accept that fact, then we have done 50 per cent of the job and then we have to think about how to combine this school system, the Arabic schools, with conventional schools and empowerment.
“If they reach the age that they should go to farm there must be something they can do because I don’t think that there is anybody created by God that is useless. It is only when there is no idea that people look useless but there is no useless person in this world.”
Okorocha who currently represents Imo West Senatorial District in the Senate said that since other regions have produced the President of Nigeria, it would be good to allow an Igbo man led the country to see what it would look like.
He however said that what is most important to him is to have a united Nigeria.
“Talking about the Presidency of Igbo extraction is rather to give everyone a sense of belonging but that is not doing the job.
“What I propose is that a Nigerian President who will guarantee the unity of this nation irrespective of religion or tribe, a Nigerian President that will alleviate poverty, a Nigerian President who will make education available and affordable for everybody.
“This is what we should be talking about more importantly. But the issue of Nigerian President of Igbo extraction for me, is more like a competition, the north had produced a President, the Southwest has produced a President and the south-south has produced a President, let us see when the SouthEast produce a President, what Nigeria will look like.
“I think from that kind of Chelsea, Man U match kind of a thing, when they belong to the same country and they play matches, that’s exactly the way I see it, but it’s only fairness, fairness calls for that.
The former governor added that, “but that is not the main issue, if you have a President and yet, people are still hungry, people are suffering, of what use is that? Presidency is not just in the title, it’s in doing the job.”