The Kaduna State Government has reunited 140 of the children rescued from an Islamic school in Rigasa, with their parents after the police raided the school that’s synonymous to house of torture and horror.
According to the Commissioner for Human Services and Social Development in the state, Hafsat Baba, the state initially took custody of about 300 of the children.
Baba who gave the update on the incident on Sunday, said that the remaining victims including 77 children and 113 adults were taken to a secured facility at the Mando Hajj Camp in the state capital.
She noted that the motive is for proper profiling before uniting them with their families upon proper identification.
“They were rescued and brought to Ranchers Bees Stadium and then they stayed there overnight. We provided food for them.
“On Friday, they were relocated to this facility, the Hajj Camp. And that was when we did the head count to find out and separate the children from the adults. Even though some of them ran away because of the freedom they got, we were able to 190 on ground.
“77 of them are children, the youngest being the age of six. There are some that are 7, 8, 9 and 10. We also have adults as old as 30 and even up to 50. We have 113 adults as at that time (Friday),” she said.
The Commissioner explained that upon the handing over of the victims by the Police Command in the state, Governor Nasir El-Rufai ordered the ministry to provide succour for them.
“On that same Friday, there were about 15 children that were really sick. We had to take them to the hospital. About three of the adults were on admission where they are being taken care of.”
She also commended officials of the Nigeria Police, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and media practitioners for the various roles they played in the exercise.
The police said the victims, some from Burkina Faso, Mali and other African countries were subjected to daily recitation of the Holy Quran and prayers, accompanied by torture and the children, sexually abused.
One of the people who survived the torture in the school, told the BBC that living in the school was like “living in hellfire”.
“If you are praying they will beat you. If you are studying they will beat you,” Isa Ibrahim, 29, told the BBC.
Mr Isa Ibrahim, who was 29 said he was sent to the centre by his family two weeks before the police raid, to “correct his behaviour”.
He said he had tried to escape the day before the police arrived.
He described being chained up to an old generator and also being subjected to a particularly cruel punishment, known as “Tarkila”, where his hands were tied up and he was left hanging from the ceiling.