Monday, February 20, 2012

Nigeria's Abandoned Youth: Are They Potential Recruits for Militants?

Time Magazine
18 February 2012

By Gillian Parker / Kaduna Time Magazine

In a small stone, tin-roof building in Regassa in the northern Nigerian city of Kaduna, in a room whose walls are decorated with slates inscribed with Koranic verses, Adulai, 15, lies on a mat, feverish with malaria and typhoid. His younger brother, Adamu, tends to him. "He's very sick," says Adamu. Adamu has not eaten since the night before. He says he is hoping for some leftovers from a nearby house, where the family is finishing lunch.

Adulai and Adamu are not orphans, but they might as well be. A year ago, their parents, poor farmers with more children than they can afford, brought them hundreds of miles from Katsina on the edge of the Sahara to Kaduna to study the Koran in a ramshackle Islamic school called a tsangaya. There are just two among millions of boys who have made the same journey in similar situations across the country.

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