Following raid on “house of torture”, Buhari condemns child abuse - The Naija Weekly

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Saturday, September 28, 2019

Following raid on “house of torture”, Buhari condemns child abuse

President Muhammadu Buhari has reacted to the rescue of more than 300 boys and men, some as young as five and many in chains and bearing scars from beatings, in a raid on a building that purportedly belongs to an Islamic school in Kaduna, by the police on Friday.
The Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a statement said:
“In commending the police for their discovery of this horrific hub and arrest of suspected operators of the unedifying, so-called “reform institution,” the administration of President Buhari categorically condemns rights abuses whether of adults or of children.
‘‘We are glad that Muslim authorities have dismissed the notion of the embarrassing and horrifying spectacle as an Islamic 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 programmess, 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.”

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