Abu Nmodu, Minna
The Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, has raised the alarm over the large number of children roaming the street in Nigeria, especially in the Northern part of the country.
He regretted that, while efforts were being made to prevent crime in the country, the nation is breeding it indirectly.
Expressing worry about the number of children roaming the streets, Governor Bello warned that it could lead to a situation whereby the next generation of children would become children on the street.
Represented by his special adviser on Religious Affairs, Mallam Ahmad Tanko, the governor spoke in Minna at the Interfaith Dialogue and Engagement organized by the Development Initiative of West Africa and the Kukah Center.
Bello said, “It is sad that while we are trying to prevent crime in the country, we are breeding it indirectly. We must be concerned with the number of children roaming the street. The danger is that the next generations we are breeding are generations of children on the street. With these children, we are breeding danger, particularly in this present dispensation”.
He said the reason why most children are still on the street is because parents have failed in the discharge of their responsibilities.
His words: “Let us all go back and resume our responsibility as parents. We have to take responsibility and stop our children from roaming the streets.
“These children do not know the comfort of a bed, they do not know the comfort of clean water or the comfort of their parents. They are born and thrown into the streets. Let us go back and take back our responsibilities as parents”.
Also speaking , the Arch Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Mathew Hassan Kukah, stated that interfaith conversation must be encourage for peace and development.
He said whether the nation likes it or not, the next owners and leaders of the nation are the same Almajiris and the youths who roam aimlessly on the streets today, adding that robust interfaith conversation should be encouraged for peaceful co-existence.
The Arch Bishop urged Nigerians to forget the past and forge ahead as a united and peaceful nation, saying “there is a lot we can do together to build a better and peaceful Nigeria and leave it as a legacy”.
As part of encouraging interfaith dialogue, he stated that the quality of conversations between Muslims and Christians should be encouraged at universities because, according to him, universities are the incubators of the leaders of tomorrow.
He said, “The reason why we are having confusion in the country is because we have not dealt with this problem at the university level. The conversation between Muslims and Christians at the universities has to be improved”.