A former All Progressives Congress presidential aspirant Adamu Garba says Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote, founder of BUA Group Abdul Samad Rabiu among others are products of the Almajiri system prevalent in northern Nigeria.
The Almajiri system has been heavily criticised in recent times by northern leaders, some of whom say it is responsible for the high level of poverty and illiteracy in the region.
However, during an appearance on a PUNCH Live programme over the weekend, Mr Garba said the Almajiri was not originally intended for doom, adding he too was once an Almajiri before he acquired Western education.
He said the system had nothing to do with raw study of Islam, but with studying businesses, marketing, relationship, and lifestyle.
“If you look at Dangote, our richest man today, his family are Almajirai. In fact, currently, the Dantata family is one of those supporting the largest Almajiri group in Nigeria. The group has up to 10,000 Almajiris and the Dantata family still supports them,” he said.
“Isiaka Rabiu, his father was a notable Almajiri. His family was a traditional Almajiri. In fact, his father was a Sheikh of Almajiranci. Until he died, he supported Almajiranci and up till now, they (the family) are still supporting Almajiranci. So, they (the Almajiri settings) have been able to build children that have become global icons. It means there is value in the Almajiranci.”
Garba added: “But today’s Almajirancis have been contaminated because the Malams take advantage of these children: they send them to commit crimes, sometimes, they go into drug abuse and become big criminals in the society. Why? Because there is no care for them.”