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Buhari: Kaduna ‘Islamic School’ a  House of Torture, Place of Slavery

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Buhari: Kaduna ‘Islamic School’ a  House of Torture, Place of Slavery

Buhari: Kaduna ‘Islamic School’ a  House of Torture, Place of Slavery
September 29
20:11 2019
  • Commends Police for acting quickly to rescue 400 persons

President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday in Abuja, described as a house of torture and place of human slavery a Kaduna-based Islamic school, where no fewer than 400 men and boys, who had been chained up by operators of the centre, were rescued by the police last Thursday. Buhari, who condemned in strong terms the detention, abuse and torture of people at the Rigasa centre under the guise of running an Islamic school, however, commended the police for discovering the “horrific hub.”

The President was in New York, where he participated in the 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), when the discovery was made. But he returned to the country yesterday to lend his voice to wide condemnations of the illegal detention and inhuman treatment.

In a statement by his spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, Buhari said abuse of the fundamental rights of citizens, whether they are children or adults, will not be condoned by his administration. He commended the police for arresting “operators of the unedifying, so-called ‘reform institution’”.

The statement said the President was glad that Moslem leaders had condemned the claim that the place was an Islamic school, adding that the unwholesome act of the centre’s operators is embarrassing.

Buhari recalled his earlier remarks that children needed to be protected from evil influences and street roaming by sending them to school.

He had stated in June while inaugurating the National Economic Council (NEC) for the period 2019-2023 that it was criminal for parents to keep their children out of school and called for the cooperation of states and local governments to tackle the high incidence of out-of-school children in the country.

The statement said regarding the Kaduna school, “The place has, indeed, been described as a house of torture and a place of human slavery. The President holds the view that children will be safeguarded from roaming the streets and protected from all evil influences that assail idle hands and idle minds, when they are sent to school.

“When he inaugurated the National Economic Council for the year 2019/2023 at the Presidential Villa, in Abuja, President Buhari warned that keeping children away from school is a criminal offence.

“He also stressed the need to take seriously and enforce the statutory provisions on free and compulsory basic education, citing Section 18(3) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, which he says places on all of us (public leaders and political office holders) an obligation to eradicate illiteracy and provide free and compulsory education.

“He added that ‘Section 2 of the Compulsory Free Universal Basic Education Act provides that every government in Nigeria shall provide free, compulsory and universal basic education for every child of primary and junior secondary school age.

“It is indeed a crime, he stressed, for any parent to keep his child out of school for this period.

“While the government at the centre has introduced a number of programmes, including the school feeding programme, which is now in 32 states in the country, with 9.8 million children in its roll to encourage school enrolment and enhance the health and learning capabilities of pupils, state and local governments are obliged under the law to ensure that every child of school age goes to school throughout the crucial nine years of basic education.

“To stop unwanted cultural practices that amount to the abuse of children, our religious and traditional authorities must work with the federal, state and local governments to expose and stop all types of abuse that are widely known but ignored for many years by our communities.”

Meanwhile, men of the Kaduna State Police Command, who carried out the raid on the centre, described as both an Islamic and correctional school, said they acted on a tip-off.

Some of those rescued, who narrated their ordeal while speaking with journalists, corroborated the president’s position, when they described the centre as a place of horror and torture.

The Kaduna State Police Command said they had arrested seven men in connection with the incident, disclosing that those rescued have been handed over to the state government for rehabilitation.

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