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Kano Emir Takes In 105 Victims of Child Abuse
Many Nigerian children face school of hard knocks
Bala Muhammad Makosa (babanjawad)     Print Article 
Published 2008-01-31 05:13 (KST)   
Children arrive at the emir's palace.
©2008 Bala Muhammad Makosa

On Dec. 30, vans carrying 105 victims of child abuse from various locations in northern Nigeria arrived in Kano on Wednesday as part of an effort by Kano Emir Alhaji Ado Bayero to protect them from their parents and give them Islamic educations.

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The children were received from their parents by Islamic scholars with an agreement that the children will be given Islamic educations. In compensation to the teachers, the children will labor on farms during the forthcoming raining season.

The children had been transported in open vans despite the excessively chilly season to Suleja town, where they were expected to begin learning, laboring on farms and begging.

At one point, suspecting child trafficking, the police halted a vanload along the Kaduna-Abuja Expressway and brought them back to Kano, where they were handed over to an official of the National Agency of Protection of Child Trafficking and Related Offences. The official later confirmed that it was not child trafficking.

The Kano emir, while receiving the children at his palace, expressed his sadness at the actions of the parents, calling the abuse un-Islamic. He warned them to take good care of their children back home, as it was a duty leveled on them by God.

Kano Emir Alhaji Ado Bayero speaks to the parents.
©2008 Bala Muhammad Makosa

A tradition in northern Nigeria is for some parents to send their children away to learn the Quran, where they often have to resort to begging on the street to earn a living.

Past and present governments in Nigeria, at both the state and federal level, have been trying to curtail this phenomenon. Recently, the Nigerian government promulgated children's rights law, which has so far been adopted by only a few state governments.

Of the 105 children handed to the Kano emir, 51 were from 4 to 10 years of age, 50 were from 11 to 17, and 3 were 18.

The children wait for the Kano emir to appear.
©2008 Bala Muhammad Makosa

The children's parents also waiting.
©2008 Bala Muhammad Makosa

Local government chairman Kiru answers questions from journalists.
©2008 Bala Muhammad Makosa
©2008 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Bala Muhammad Makosa

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