A student of Musbaudeen, a Madrasa (Arabic/Quranic) school in Ilorin, Kwara State, has reacted to the brutal flogging by the school authorities.
The student, Nasirudeen Muhideen, while being interviewed by an unnamed teacher before the school assembly, said that he and other culprits attended a birthday party last Sunday, but only one of them drank a bottle of Trophy beer, while the others drank Malta Guinness and energy drinks, which are non-alcoholic.
The assembly was called by the panicky school authorities over the viral video showing the students being flogged brutally, an act which has elicited nationwide outrage.
Narrating what happened, Muhideen said, “We went to the birthday party of one of our classmates last Sunday and we were many.
“One of us drank alcohol, but not all of us drank. When the Imam and some parents saw it, they were angry. It was that anger that made them beat some of us on Wednesday, while others were flogged on Saturday.
“One of us drank Trophy [beer], while all the other drinks on the table were Malta Guinness and energy drinks. So, that is what happened.”
When asked to react to a separate video showing some students dousing one another with alcohol, Muhideen said, “I don’t know about that. At the party we attended on Sunday, nobody was bathed in drinks. Only one among us ordered a bottle of Trophy.”
Another student, Abdulmumin Jibrin, who was among those that were flogged, however, thanked the school authorities for “disciplining” them.
He said that he told his colleagues who were not happy about the flogging not to post the video on social media, but they went ahead to do so.
Jibrin said, “We went to a party last Sunday and we were many. Three of us were flogged on Wednesday, while the rest were flogged on Saturday.
“As they flogged us on Wednesday, we believe we deserved the flogging as a form of discipline. We deserved it, but some of the students that were flogged went to post it on social media and I told them not to.
“The way some of our parents called the Imam to express support is what good parents should do because discipline will ensure that we don’t do that again.”
The Kwara State Government has, however, stepped into the matter.
In a statement by the Kwara State Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development, Hajia Sa’adatu Modibbo Kawu, a government delegation has visited the Arabic school whose students were seen in video footage being punished for alleged conduct conceived to be contrary to the rules of the school.
The team comprised the Hon. Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development, Hajia Sa’adatu Modibbo Kawu; Special Assistant to the Governor on Religion (Islam) Alhaji Danmaigoro; Dr Saudat AbduBaqi of the University of Ilorin; Mallam Lawal Olohungbebe of Kwara State University; and Chief Press Secretary to the Governor Rafiu Ajakaye.
The team was joined by the Divisional Police Officer Ganmo SP Oko Nkama; and a representative of the NSCDC DSC Parati AbdulHameed.
The government’s team carefully listened to the authorities of the Arabic school, the father of the sole girl in the video, and four other students involved in the unsavoury development.
Regardless of the explanations of the authorities on the development, the self-confessed consent of the parents and the regret of the affected students, the government seriously frowns at the harsh beating seen in the footage.
Consequently, the government has directed the setting up of an investigative committee, comprising Muslim scholars, leaders and government officials, to look into the issue while the head of the Arabic school, who admitted to directing the punishment, has been asked to step aside pending the conclusion of the investigation.
The government has also taken the affected students to a public hospital for proper medical examination and treatment. This is to ensure that none of them suffers any physical or psychological damage.
The government appeals for calm while the committee does its works and submits a report for further action.
The government commends the Ganmo Muslim community for the support given to the team.