The Chief Missioner Nasru-lahi-l-Fatih Society, NASFAT, Imam Abdul-Azeez Onike, has cautioned Nigerians not to give religious colouration to the disgusting discoveries of private rehabilitation centres in some parts of the country.
Commenting on the discoveries, Onike told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Lagos that emergence of the private rehabilitation centres in some parts of the country was “a manifestation of socioeconomic challenges bedevilling the nation”.
NAN reports that some dehumanising rehabilitation centres were recently discovered by security agencies in some parts of the country.
According to Onike, what makes the issue worrisome is that it cut across regions and religions.
“It cuts across regions due to the fact that the so-called rehabilitation centres had been discovered in Daura, Katsina, Kaduna, Kwara and Lagos.
“Therefore, no particular region should be labelled as the promoter of the practice.
“The malaise does not discriminate religion, though, most of the operators so far detected have been traced to a particular religion.
“From the reports, it was also established that patients of the centres claimed to belong to various religions.
“They were taken to the centres by their parents and guardians to rehabilitate them from drug addiction, mental illnesses and correction from waywardness.
“It could, therefore, be seen that these rehabilitation centres are being justified as a means to fill the gaps that our correctional institutions have left. This is a dangerous trend,” he said.
Onike said that this clarification became necessary in order not to erroneously believe and spread the misconception that the practice was encouraged by religion.
“Scripturally, it is not acceptable in Islam to use torture and harm to change human behaviour.
“It’s a clear religious principle that “harm must be eliminated. There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm. We can never get a cure from what is harmful.
“Verily, God sent down the disease and the cure, and for every disease, he made a cure. Seek treatment, but do not seek treatment by the unlawful means.
“No human being should torture or harm his fellow human under whatever guise,” he said.
Onike said that NASFAT would never support or condone the violation of any human right by the operators of those centres.
“Nonetheless, the question we should be asking ourselves is, why should a parent resorts to taking his wards to a dehumanising centre in his quest for the child’s rehabilitation from waywardness, drug addiction or mental illness?
“The use of dehumanising means of correction is not religious, but traditional and cultural.
“It is a manifestation of the urgent need by the government at all levels to pay attention to various social justice apparatus and systems in Nigeria where many are exposed to mental illness.