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Minister Pantami faults Ulama’s stance over Ganduje’s ban on street begging



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Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has faulted the position taken by the Council of Ulamas, following the decision by the Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje to ban street begging in the state.

On Wednesday, Ibrahim Khalil, who is the Chairman of the Council considered to be the “guardians, transmitters and interpreters of religious knowledge in Islam, including Islamic doctrine and law”, said that before street begging can be banned, necessary steps towards curtailing the practice needs to be put in place.

Pantami who was reacting to the stance by the Council of Ulamas while answering questions from the media immediately after he presented a paper at the Pre-Convocation Lecture organised by Kano State Polytechnic, on Friday, said that it is not appropriate for Islamic scholars to come forth and challenge the governor just like that.

The minister advised; “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.”

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Reacting further he said; “Dr Pantami further argued that, “There is no doubt that taking those children back to school is the right thing to do, and it 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.”

Recall that while he was speaking with newsmen last Wednesday, Khalil said that the Kano State government led by Abdullahi Ganduje was ”not serious about the ban as are only trying to appease their masters abroad.”

He said; “Our opinion is on three to five issues, firstly, if we view the history of banning street begging since the time of Sir Ahmadu Bello, when they were making efforts to ban street begging but were opposed by the Ulama because they saw it as a way of keeping people away from Quranic or religious studies.

“Even the government that says it has barred begging is not serious about it. It will ban it and after a while it will return. Just like the Hausa saying that ‘The king’s instruction lasts only seven days.

“The right steps have not been followed and begging cannot stop because the correct measures have not been put in place.

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