By Umar Salam.
The Kaduna State Police Command has been criticized by parents of the rescued 300 children found chained, tortured and allegedly sexually assaulted at an Islamic centre in Kaduna for raiding the school on Thursday night.
Some of the parents who spoke to newsmen after the kids were taken into protective custody by the police, insisted there was nothing wrong with the Islamic school located in Rigasa, Igabi Local Government Area of the state.
One of the protesting parents, Maryam Fatika said, “We are aware that the children are being punished whenever they do wrong because they are dangerous and stubborn children.
“There is nothing wrong with the school because we took our children there by ourselves. So, we don’t know why the police raided the place.”
Another mother who said her son had spent six years at the school disclosed that she took him there because he was becoming a threat to the family.
“We took him to the Islamiyya school for rehabilitation and to God be the glory, he has changed.
“I visited him and I have never seen anything wrong going on in the school.
“We don’t even know where the police took our children. We are appealing to the government and police to return our children to us and we are also okay with the way the children are being handled by the Islamiyya authorities”, she said.
Other parents noted that the proprietor of the centre, Mallam Ismaila Abubakar was doing everything possible within Islamic teachings to rehabilitate the kids who according to them were wayward and mostly drug addicts.
On the allegation of sexual abuse, a resident of the neighborhood where the school is located, said: “I share a fence with the school and my two sons attended the school and they never told me anything about being sexually abused.
“Being a neighbour that always enters the school, if such thing was happening, I should have known.”
The police had earlier reported that some of the children complained of being tortured daily and forced to pray and recite the Holy Quran at the centre.
One of the older victims, Bello Hamza who narrated his ordeal at the school was quoted as saying, “They claim to be teaching us Quran and Islam but they do a lot of things here. They subject the younger ones to homosexuality.
“This is supposed to be an Islamic centre, but trying to run away from here attracts severe punishment; they tie people and hang them to the ceiling for that, but engaging in homosexuality attracts no punishment.
“Within my short stay here, somebody had died as a result of torture. Others have died before my coming due to poor health and torture. They give us very poor food and we only eat twice a day; 11:00am and 10:00pm.”