Parents of 300 captives besiege Kaduna school to support Islamic centre, protest Against police action

POLICE evacuation of 300 people including children from an ‘Islamic Centre’ in Kaduna on Thursday took a bizarre turn on Friday with some parents of the affected children protesting the police action.

The police had taken into their protective custody all the freed people, some of whom were in chains at the centre.

The police also arrested the founder of the centre and his teachers.

Angry Nigerians deplored the conditions under which the people were treated at the ‘school’.

However, the police action has not gone down well with some parents of the children who stormed the centre on Friday, openly condemning the police

They stormed the centre, which is still being guarded by policemen, and demanded to be reunited with their children.

The police had accused the school authority of abusing the children and keeping them in dehumanizing conditions; an allegation the school authority denied.

Some residents of the area, however, told The Nation that some of the rescued students were drug addicts and stubborn children taken to the centre by their parents for rehabilitation and also to acquire Quranic knowledge.

A neighbour to the school, Ahmed Balarabe, also denied allegations of sexual abuse on the children.

He said: “I share a fence with the school and my two sons attended the same school before their graduation, and they never told me anything of such.

“Being a neighbour that always enters the school, if such a thing is happening, I should have known.”

One of the protesting women, Maryam Fatika, whose four children attended the school and are now with the police, said: “There was nothing going wrong in the school, because we took our children there ourselves. So we don’t know why the police raided the place.

“My children have never complained to me about abuse or anything. But we are aware that they were being punished if they did something wrong, because they are very dangerous and stubborn children.”

Another parent, whose son Jibril has been in the school for six years, said: “The boy became a threat to us his parents, so we took him to the Islamiyya School for rehabilitation, and to God be the glory, he has changed.

“I used to visit him anytime I took food to him, and I never saw anything wrong going on in the school.

“My worry now is that we don’t even know where they took our children to, which is why we are appealing to the government and police to return our children to us.

“We are also okay with the way the children are being handled by the Islamiyya authorities,” she said.

In her own views, Shafa’atu Zakari, who has six children in the school, said, her children were drug addicts and could not control their behaviour, which was why she took them to the school to acquire Quranic knowledge.

She said: “We brought the children to the school because we didn’t know what to do with them. Four of my children were among the students evacuated by the police. We demand their release because the founder of the school, Mallam Ismail, is doing everything possible within Islamic teachings to rehabilitate them for us.”

One of the directors in the school, Mallam Mohammed Auwal  El’Zubair, also denied the allegations made by the police, saying that all the children at the centre were admitted with the consent of their parents.

He said: “No responsible father will take his child to where he will be molested sexually. We only teach these children the Quran, and we expected the police to investigate us well before invading the school.

“So we are seeking for justice from the authorities concerned and we leave everything to God who knows what? El’zubair also said that “former Kaduna State Police Commissioner CP Abdurrahman Ahmad, renown Islamic Scholar Dr Ahmad Gumi, Chief Imam of Sultan Bello Mosque as well as General Buba Marwa all visited the school in the past to assess our activities and none of them ever complained about us.

Parents of 300 captives besiege Kaduna school to support Islamic centre, protest Against police action

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