Federal and the 19 states governors should as a matter of urgency, address the Almajiri scourge by using sports to empower the children.
President of the Nigeria Volleyball Federation (NVBF), Engineer Musa Nimrod gave the advice after he was confered with the award of Garkuwan Matasa Arewa by Northern Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) on Friday at the prestigious Arewa House in Kaduna.
He said that even though funds may not be readily available to government, corporate organisations can be brought in to invest in capacity building of the children through their corporate social responsibility.
“Almajiri kids are representing Nigeria in hockey in several countries. They are also doing well in tennis and traveling out to represent the country, something even the children of the elite may not be in a position to do,” he stressed.
He explained that helping those in need is an advice he learnt from his foster father, late Sultan Dasuki, who he learnt several words of wisdom from.
Nimrod, who is also the patron of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Kaduna State Chapter, appealed to all to embrace the culture of giving to those in need as it remains a noble character that never goes unrewarded.
“When the President of NYCN approached me and told me why they chose me for the distinguished honour, I was shocked when he was giving details of things I didn’t know people take notice of. This shows that anything one is doing, people are taking note and as such, we should be careful what we do,” he said.
He appealed to Nigerian youth to be united and always work towards ensuring that Nigeria remains one indivisible country.
The Garkuwan Matasa Arewa said before now, he had always rejected traditional titles, including one from his district head who told him he was the most suitable for the title.
Speaking further, he said that he was passionate about developing the youth because he is ageing and would want to fall back on those he has empowered to cater for him when he starts using crutches.
He praised President Muhammadu Buhari for the agricultural revolution that is springing up, describing it as one of the best things to ever happen to Nigeria.
“When traveling from Kaduna to Kano or Katsina to Sokoto today, you will no longer see bush along the highways. They have all turned to farms, a development that will soon set us back on the path of bringing back the famous groundnut pyramids,” he added.
Nimrod challenged Northern governors to emulate the Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, who has already started planning how to survive without oil by attracting huge investments in the agricultural sector, that are empowering his people.
In his remarks, the NYCN President, Comrade Isa Abubakar explained that Nimrod was chosen because he is a shinning example of few people using sports particularly, as well as other means in building capacity of youth.
He said that youth should not give up on themselves, but work hard towards achieving positive milestones for themselves.