The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Imo State chapter has said the rising cases of banditry and kidnapping, especially in the North, were due to the Almajiri system which remains an unchecked phenomenon. This was even as the religious body raised concerns over government’s foot dragging in cautioning the consistent utterances by popular Islamic cleric, Ahmed Gumi, alleged to be promoting banditry in the Northern region.
Chairman of CAN, Imo State Rev. Dr Eches Divine Eches, who spoke ahead of the chapter’s 45th anniversary and Founder’s Day scheduled for today in Owerri, Imo State, he decried that since the government had allowed insecurity to continue, it would consume the nation. According to him, it has become necessary for the government to deploy drastic measures to curtail the Almajiri phenomenon if the issue of banditry must become a thing of the past in Northern Nigeria.
He said: “You can’t have an Almajiri system of life and government in the last 40 years in our nation bringing up people without any trace to families, hometowns or nationalities. They are scattered all over the street, without you knowing that someday they will leave the street and go to the bush where they will begin to do the trade of kidnapping.
“You can’t, in a sane nation, have the likes of Gumi, a religious scholar, going about promoting banditry and you don’t think that this will continue. Yet, that is what we are seeing today. We are not seeing anything more than what we have planted.”