By Mosunmola Ayobami, Kwara
“Help up us, we don’t want to return to the camp, we want freedom.”
These were phrases chorused by the rescued inmates of an Illegal Islamic camp the Kwara Police busted on Thursday afternoon.
The illegal Islamic camp situated at Gaa- Odota(Idi-roko)of Ilorin West Local Government Area of Kwara State.
The 108 inmates, (103 males and five females)were rescued by the Nigeria Police force who acted on an intelligence reports.
Majority of these inmates looked horrible, skinned with scars of canes and infectious diseases.
Most of these inmates were above 18years while few were between the ages of 10 and below.
The inmates who spoke with our correspondent said their parents brought them to the illegal Islamic centre to be rehabilitated due to their stubbornness and illicit drugs intake.
One of the inmates, Ayatullah Abdulazeez said he has been in the camp for over four months, describing the camp as a dungeon where they were neither allowed to eat, bath nor sleep.
He said his mum paid a sum of N100,000 to enrolled him in the Islamic centre.
He said he had Islamic knowledge on his own before been taken there
Abdulazeez pleaded for government intervention and eradication of such illegal centers.
According to him, “We call the place underground and I have spent over four months in the camp. We want government to help us eradicate this type of Arabic school.
“As you are looking at me I haven’t taken my bath in the last two weeks, they don’t give us food regularly, no freedom of movement, we poo where we sleep.
“I was taken to the centre by my mother who paid N100,000,the day I and Abdulazeez tried to escaped, some vigilante group members caught up with us and took us back to the centre, that day were beaten mercilessly chained and hung,” said Abdulwariz Hussein.
Another inmate, Tope Owonifari said he was the happiest being on earth since the police rescue them. He said he spent four days in the centre and had been like 40 years in hell.
Owonifari who is in his mid-30s’ said he was a graduate and operates private cab business in Lagos but his mum brought him and paid a sum of N150,000 to register him in the centre.
He said, “I want to tell all parents out there this is not a way of rehabilitating stubborn or drug addicts children. I want the government to ensure they rescue more existing centres around. I must say they did a great job rescuing us”
However, a female inmate, a native of Kwara state (name withheld) said she has been in the camp for five years, but kept in the founder’s elder brother room who usually have carnal knowledge of her.
The lady in her mid-20s’ said the man, Jimoh Adewuyi has aborted three pregnancies for her with herbs
She added that other male children of the founder do have carnal knowledge of her as well.
According to her, her family took her to the centre because she do abscond from home
Speaking with our WESTERN POST, the founder of the Islamic centre, Abdulraheem Owotutu said the centre has been in existence for long and individual parents brought their children for Islamic knowledge or rehabilitation purposes.
The man who is visually impaired said they do “Wolimat” in the centre every year.
Owotutusaid he is from Igbona,(Kwara south) Ila-orogin(Osun state) and Osogbo.
He said various parents brought food items and money to cater for their wards and never comes to check up on them.
In his address, the Commissioner of Police, Kwara state, Kayode Egbetokun said he was sad to see fellow human beings in that critical condition and particularly children.
He, however, said he was happy the raid operation has successfully terminated their suffering
Egbetokun noted that the perpetrators were in their custody and would be arraigned immediately.
“This afternoon the command acted on an impeccable intelligence of an existence of illegal detention camp around Geri-Alimi in Ilorin, where persons mostly children being unlawfully detained and kept in the most deplorable conditions.
“Some of them are on chains and have been in that condition for over five years and some of them have infectious diseases that are not treated and are spreading in the camp,” he said.