By Henry Oduah
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has rejected the plan by the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Kukah, to train 10 million almajiri children in Northern Nigeria.
MURIC, in a statement on Wednesday signed by its director and founder, Ishaq Akintola, claimed that Bishop Kukah’s idea raises more questions than answers.
The human rights group described Kukah’s proposal as a ploy for proselytisation, modern colonialism and a potential time bomb.
“We invite foreign donors who are genuinely interested in helping the almajiris to do so through Muslim NGOs. This Kukah intervention is a time bomb.
“It is calculated at swinging the population pendulum in terms of which faith controls the North in the next twenty or twenty five years.
“Christianity came to the South in the 19th century under the guise of Western education. Thousands of Muslims in the South-West were forcefully converted to Christianity in Western schools.
“Such a plan could not work in the North. The next target of the hot gospellers is the North and the weapon is going to be money. The West is pumping huge amounts of money into Christian movements in the North.
“To secure the confidence of Northern Muslims, Kukah should put his cards on the table. Who are the donors? How much are we looking at? What is the time frame?
“As we draw the curtain, we suggest that Kukah should take Muslim NGOs in the North into confidence. He can co-opt some of them into a committee, allow them to do the implementation while he and the donors monitor the use of funds for the project.
“Whatever training the almajiri children receive should include the learning of Arabic language and Islamic studies. Anything short of this is unacceptable,” the statement read in part.