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NASFAT condemns dehumanising rehab centers

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[FILES] According to the Lagos state police command spokesman, the private rehabilitation center dubbed as torture center was busted on Thursday 31st October 2019. Photo: PIXABAY

Nigerians have been urged to objectively look at the issue of the emergence of pseudo-private rehabilitation centers that have been discovered by security agencies in various parts of Nigeria as a manifestation of serious underneath socio-economic challenges bedeviling the nation and avoid giving religious coloration to the disgusting discoveries.

The Chief Missioner of Nasru-lahi-l-Fatih Society, NASFAT, Imam Abdul-Azeez Morufu Onike who made the call said the issue is worrisome because it cut across regions and religions.

“It cuts across regions due to the fact that the so-called rehabilitation center had been discovered in the Northern parts of Nigeria, Daura, katsina state, Kaduna state, Kwara State and Lagos State. Therefore, no particular region should be labeled as the promoter of the practice.

He noted that the malaise does not discriminate religion even though, most of the operators detected are traced to a particular religion.

According to the Lagos state police command spokesman, the private rehabilitation center dubbed as torture center which was busted on Thursday 31st October 2019 was said to be a Church belonging to one Pastor, while those in the North have been traced to some Madrassah schools.

Onike said that from reports, it is also established that, the inhabitants of the centers claimed to belong to various religions and they were taken to the centers by their parents and guardians for rehabilitating them from drug addiction, curing their mental illness and correction of waywardness.

“For instance, one of the inhabitants in the Kwara center claimed on television that he was a drug addict, another one in the same Kwara center said, he was not forced to practice Islam. It could, therefore, be seen that these rehabilitation centers are being justified as a means to fill the gaps that our correctional institutions have left. This is a dangerous trend”.

According to Onike, this clarification became necessary in order not to erroneously believe and spread the misconception that the practice is encouraged by religion.

“No human being should torture or harm his fellow human under whatever guise.

“As an international human right advocate and promoter, I will never support or condone in any way the abuse of any human right by the operators of those centers, nonetheless, the question we should be asking ourselves are, why should a parent resorts to taking his wards to a dehumanising center in his quest for the child’s rehabilitation from waywardness and drug addiction or mental illness?”

Onike said that he use of crooked and dehumanising means of correction is not religious, but traditional, cultural and a manifestation of the urgent need to pay attention to various Social justice apparatus and systems by the government at various levels in our country where 5 0 percent of the population is exposed to mental illness.


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