*Donates N1m each to victim’s parents
From Mustapha Adamu, Kano
Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State yesterday directed the immediate amendment of the Penal Code on kidnapping to death penalty.
The governor gave the directive at the inauguration of the 16-man Commission of Inquiry over the kidnapping and selling off of nine Kano-born children in Onitsha, Anambra State.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, held at the Government House Kano, Mr Ganduje said he directed the Ministry of Justice to amend the law, which hitherto provided for imprisonment to death sentence.
According to him, the issue of kidnapping had taken a new dimension in the state that only capital punishment could contain it.
The governor described the kidnapping of the nine children as heinous, adding that it was not Islamic or Christianity but criminality which has to be dealt with accordingly.
Ganduje lamented that the rescued children had been deprived of their culture, religion and family, stressing that the state government must rehabilitate the victims in order to reintegrate them into the society.
“This children will be rehabilitated. We must rehabilitate them. We must make them continue performing Islamic religion. They will grow in religion and culture,” he said
Ganduje announced that the rescued children would enjoy the free and compulsory basic and secondary education introduced by his administration, adding that the government had also offered university scholarship to the victims.
He also donated the sum of N1 million each to the parents of the victims, stating that the government had now taken care of two of the rescued children yet to identify their parents.
Recall that, the Kano State Government on Wednesday shut down a notorious children torture chamber and rescued 36 chained inmates from the facility.
Daiba, located in Rijiyar Lemu quarters in Dala Local Government Area of the state, was shut down late Wednesday after state officials found children in chains at the centre.
The Kano State government had set up a committee to check the centres operating in the state with a view to regulating their activities.
The head of the committee, Muhammad Tahar, told the media that the Daiba centre was notorious for chaining and torturing its inmates.
He said the committee stormed the centre with the support of the Hisbah (state’s moral police) and found some inmates being tortured.
He advised parents to come forward and identify their children who were rescued from the centre and taken into the custody of Hisbah.
However, the Kano State Command spokesperson Abdullahi Haruna, denied being aware of the operation, according to reports.
But, President Muhammadu Buhari had condemned the ill-treatment of children at the centres.
“On torture chambers, in this day and age, no responsible democratic government would tolerate the existence of torture chambers and physical abuses of inmates in the name of rehabilitation of the victims.”
The president commended the efforts of the police in exposing human rights abuses by individuals and criminal groups and said he was optimistic that the efforts would be sustained to check illegal activities of such nature.
Buhari therefore appealed to members of the public to remain vigilant and assist security agencies in crime prevention and control by reporting the existence of criminal activities in their communities.