The Kwara State government has suspended the head of Musbaudeen Islamiya Arabic school in Ganmo, Ifelodun local government area of the state for ordering the brutal flogging of five students, including a female student for allegedly attending a birthday party in a clubhouse.
This was made known in a statement issued by the Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development, Hajia Sa’adatu Modibbo Kawu.
The statement also said the parents of the affected students confessed that they consented to the flogging of their children.
According to the statement, the government has set up a panel to investigate the incident while the affected students have been taken to the hospital for medical attention.
She also noted that the school principal has been asked to step aside, while the panel investigates the incident.
The statement reads,” A Kwara State Government’s delegation has visited the Arabic school whose students were seen in video footage being punished for alleged conducts 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 Abdul Hameed."
The statement added: “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 regret of the affected students, the government seriously frowns on 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.”
Some videos had gone viral on social media which showed some madrasa (a college of Islamic instruction) students in the state being brutally flogged as a form of punishment by some senior students of the school on the order of their cleric.
According to a Twitter user, @EkunStoner, the students were severely beaten because they went to a friend’s birthday party.
He said pictures of the birthday celebration were posted online. However, their teacher saw the post and thought they drank alcohol.
“These Muslim brothers and sister went to celebrate one of their friends on his birthday, so they posted this picture and their Alfa saw it. He thought they drank alcohol, but they only had Yoghurt," he said.