BY ONUMINYA YUSUF, Sokoto
The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, has decried the high number of orphaned children in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps, saying the number was in excess of 50, 000.
Sultan, who is the president-general, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), made this comment at the opening ceremony of the 28th National Conference of the Muslim Sisters Organisation of Nigeria, (MSON) with the theme, “Muslim Women and Emerging Challenges.”
The Sultan, who enumerated the importance of a girl-child education, said when women were educated and empowered, they and their children were less vulnerable to drug abuse and other anti-social activities.
The Sultan, according to a statement by Bashir Rabe Mani, the spokesperson of Senator Aliyu Wamakko, expressed worry over the high number of children orphaned by the insurgency of the North-East, noting that more than 50, 000 hapless orphans were scattered across the various IDP camps in Nigeria.
The Sultan said: “There are more than 50,000 of these orphans in various IDP camps in the North East and one will shed tears if you see them.
“So we are making arrangements to bring at least 200 of them to Sokoto and a house had already been prepared for them here. The aim of the gesture is to train them to any level of education they so desire, hence, have a bright future as well a sense of belonging.”
The statement also quoted the Sultan as challenging the organisation to brainstorm on plausible ways to curb the high cost of marriage, the high rate of divorce in the north, as well stemming the tide of drug abuse.
On his part, Senator Aliyu Wamakko (APC, Sokoto North) revealed that he had set up a special centre for the training of vulnerable married women in Wamakko town, headquarters of Wamakko local govenment areas of the state, adding that no fewer than 40 married women had graduated from the centre.
Represented by Professor Mukhtar Bunza of the History Department, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Senator Wamakko said that the centre was set up to train married women in various vocations.
He further noted that women were lagging behind despite the fact that they remained the custodians of the society.
On his part, Sokoto State Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal promised to construct the secretariat of the organisation on a plot donated to it by the administration of Wamakko, his predecessor.
The national amirah (president) of the group, Hajiya Amina Musa Sakaba, said the theme of the conference was chosen to raise issues affecting the contemporary Muslim woman.