Muslims in Oyo State under the umbrella of Muslim Community of Oyo State (MUSCOYS) have warned Governor Seyi Makinde of the state against any attempt to demolish Olore Central Mosque and Rehabilitation Centre located at Ojoo area of Ibadan, the state capital.
It would be recalled that Oyo State Police Command in the state had last week raided the rehabilitation centre and rescued over two hundred people in the centre over alleged maltreatment.
A day after the raid, Makinde during a visit to the centre and the Mosque ordered the demolition of the center and the Mosque.
But the Muslims in the state have warned the Governor against any attempt to demolish the center and the Mosque.
Chairman of MUSCOYS, AlhajiIshaqKunleSanni, while speaking on the raid insisted that the centre has been there for over 50 years and it is registered with the government as a rehabilitation centre, contrary to the claims by the Police and the state government, that it was operating illegally.
Sanni said, “I cannot talk for Kaduna. I don’t live in Kaduna. I don’t know what has happened there. But for Olore, that place has been there for over 50 years and it is registered with the government as a rehabilitation centre. It is possible they [owners of the centre] have been a little ruthless or crude in the way they treat the inmates but one thing is clear: there is not a single person in that place that was not brought there either by the parents or the guardians.
“It is when they [children] go haywire in their behavioural patterns – whether they become drug addicts, armed robbers, area boys or whatever – and the parents are not comfortable that they are brought to that Olore rehabilitation centre.
Sanni, while speaking further maintained that it is the parents of the inmates that brought their wayward children to the centre for rehabilitation and not that the operators pick them on the streets as claimed by some individuals who have commented on the issue.
“If the government, or the police, does a thorough investigation, they will find that even there are non-Muslims brought in there by their parents. And a lot of them, after staying for some time there, become refined, you know, good members of the society. Some of them [people who had been inmates at the centre] are now medical doctors, pharmacists, engineers and so on and so forth. Even if need be, one can point to them. And some people are even making arrangements to come together as alumni and do a press conference to show that they were reformed at that place.
“I am not saying that maybe they have not gone into excess in the way they [the inmates] are being treated ‘inhumanly’, but for the government or the police to go to the extent of saying they would demolish the house of Olore, which is part and parcel of the rehabilitation centre, I think, it is going too far and I am sure it will not go down well with the Muslim community. They have different sections there.
“Some of these boys and girls are very violent and so they [the operators of the centre] need to go the extra mile to chain them in order to get the rehabilitation done. And they do a lot of spiritual activities in terms of praying for them and the rest of it so that they could get them to become good and patriotic citizens of the country. Some of them, like I have told you, have become in terms of manner; they have made success stories of their lives. So, I don’t think they should throw away the baby and the bathwater. It is a different scenario from where they say they [the inmates] are being raped.”
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