An Islamic cleric, Imam Idris Olayinka Qomarudeen has condemned the brutal flogging of some madrasa (a college of Islamic instruction) students in Kwara State as a form of punishment by some senior students of the school on the order of their cleric.
In a video shared online, the cleric stated that it is unlawful for the headteacher of the Musbaudeen Islamiya Arabic School to order the beating of the students in such a manner.
He advised other clerics particularly the heads of Arabic schools to be careful with the way they give punishments to other people's children.
He said: “My brothers in Islam particularly those who tutor children in Arabic lessons, let's take things easy. A video had gone viral on social media. The way the students are being flogged is not proper. Islam has not stated that we should beat them this way. Even the love of God will not allow you best them like this.
“The issue is complicated. Even if parents ask you to help them discipline their children, you're not meant to beat them like you're flogging mad people. Even the shameless cleric was saying 'beat them well'. This cleric, this is too much.
“God only commanded that you should teach them Islam, not this. You're not the one who created them, even the parents that asked for punishment for their children, you're the one who gave birth to them, not their creator.
“Can you see that these children are smarter than you? They took the phones and recorded everything and posted it online. Now, NGOs and every other person is calling for government intervention. See how you flogged these students. What have they done?
“I listened to know what they did. I thought the lady committed fornication but when I listened to the Alfa, this dark Alfa that shouldn't even be talking, that ought to cover his face in shame, Alfa, would you have allowed anyone to beat your child like that. He said they went for a birthday party and took alcohol. One said they gave them Maltina, the Alfa even lied. Did he attend the event with them?
“Look at the lady that was beaten. If you flog my daughter that way, I swear I will fight you. Do you know the stress I passed through to train my daughter? You claimed the parents asked you to torture their children. What if you flogged the child and he passes on? God forbid! Do you know you are in trouble? Alfa, what you have done is bad. Some old men and women explained that they couldn't attend Arabic school because their Islamic teachers scared them with their canes.
“If you were to be in Lagos, by now you'd be jailed. A child in Lagos here told his mum, ‘Mummy, Calm down na’, the boy was taken to Government House, his mother had not beaten him yet.
“If you had beaten the child to death, the parents will turn their backs on you. The rest of you who beat kids, you will be exposed.”
Meanwhile, the governor of the state, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq had set up a 10-man investigative committee headed by retired Justice Idris Haroon, to probe the circumstances around the issue.
The principal of the school is on suspension pending the conclusion of the investigation into the matter.