Govt right on street beggars’ ban – Pantami

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Isa Ali Pantami, Minister of Communication and Digital Economy
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The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami has backed the decision of the Kano State government to ban street begging children across the state.

He also faulted the antagonistic position taken by some Islamic scholars on the ban, saying the ban was beneficial to Almajiris, parents and the society.

The Kano government said its decision to place such a ban is to further implement its compulsory and free basic education agenda.

Mr Pantami who is also a popular Islamic scholar in Nigeria added his voice to the matter while presenting a paper at the Pre-Convocation Lecture organised by Kano State Polytechnic in Kano last Friday.

“What I am saying about this issue is, it is not appropriate for my brothers, Islamic scholars to come forth and be challenging the governor just like that. They should come and sit together to come up with solution on how to remedy the situation, on the way out.

“This is because there is no doubt that taking those children back to school is the right thing to do and is beneficial to the Almajiris, their parents and the society at large. From the part of the government, as a leader he has the responsibility of seeing how to make his people live well.

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“I want you to understand that if there is anything new or strange, then create a way of sitting to discuss it and see how to solve the problem. It is just an advice,” he explained.

The minister also indicated interest to be part of any discussion group about the issue if it happens that a committee is raised to discuss the matter.

He said, “I want to be part of any such discussion, in a group form, if it appears to be raised.

“We all have children. My children are with me. I feed them myself. You know the feeding of children is the responsibility of their parents.

“If there are orphans we know how our society is concerned and considerate to them and their condition of living. I was raised in my father’s home. I saw how orphans were also fed and being taken care of by our parents.

“First and foremost we all know that begging is not religious activity or obligation. It is just something of a necessity, for somebody to say he doesn’t have anything to feed himself.”

According to him, he knows how concerned the governor is and will not come up with a policy that will harm or destroy the life of beggars.

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“I am sure there is a plan in place on how to assist such kind of people,” he added.

The minister also commended the policy of free and compulsory education, saying that “as somebody who studied the Holy Qur’an and acquired ‘worldly education’, I know that whatever is brought forth that can provide space for free and compulsory education is a welcome development.”

EduCeleb.com earlier reported that like Kano, the Nasarawa State government also banned street begging while also stipulating a ten year jail for parents of such children not enrolled in school.

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