Kano Sodomy Case: Victims, Parents React As Govt Closes School
The Kano State Government has ordered the closure of Hassan Ibrahim Gwarzo Boarding Secondary School, Kano, following reports of sexual assault on five students of the school by yet-to-be identified persons.
The government’s attention was drawn to the matter after a Kano-based private radio (Freedom Radio) on Wednesday night aired a report that three students of the school were reported to have been sexually molested by unknown perpetrators suspected to be senior students and a teacher in the school.
Kano State Deputy Governor, Prof. Hafiz Abubakar, who doubles as the Commissioner for Education in an interview with press men on Saturday lamented the situation, stating that the state government had already set up a 14-man committee to investigate the allegation and come up with the result within two weeks.
It will be recalled that the mother of one of the students, discovering that her son was so badly hurt he couldn’t walk without crying, blew the whistle on the matter, which immediately draw the authorities’ attention over the matter.
A medical personnel of the Muhammad Abdullahi Wase General Hospital in Kano reportedly refused to treat one injured student, considering the boy’s condition, and insisted that the police be first informed.
In a related development, a medical assistant at the hospital who spoke on the condition of anonymity said: “Let me tell you, it has been 16 years since I started working in this hospital and I have witnessed 10 cases like this.
“The most painful thing about it is that it involves small boys in JSS 1; I mean teenagers.
“The authorities including hospital management, police and the ministry of health are aware of everything.
“In fact, they can find them and prosecute them but for all those cases no single person has been prosecuted.
“I can remember there was a time a popular traditional ruler here in Kano experienced a case like this when his first son slept with his house boy and the boy died.
“Nothing was done about it; instead they said the boy died of diarrhoea and cholera but those who brought the boy’s corpse confirmed that he was defiled.
“This is what has been happening. If you are nobody in this country, there are certain things that should never talk about or you will be in trouble.
“Untouchable people are everywhere – not only in Kano State, but the whole country at large.”
The unidentified persons are said to have accessed the boarding college and forced the victims to succumb to them, as a result of which the child was badly injured.
As at now, three of the students are currently in admission at Muhammad Abdullahi Wase Hospital, Kano.
The mother of one of the defiled children told reporters in Kano that she would pursue her case until justice is done and those responsible for the predicament of her child are identified and punished.
She castigated the school authorities for refusing to take responsibility for the sodomy allegations by claiming the suspects were outsiders.
In the same vein, the mothers of the victims took a swipe at what they described as a feeble attempt to explain away the gravity of their irresponsibility by the school authorities.
They described it as “nonsense”, while wondering how an outsider could manage to infiltrate into the school and commit such heinous atrocities.
While accusing the school of cover-up, they appealed to the state government to get to the root of the matter and bring the culprits to book.
One of the students whom our reporter interviewed on his hospital bed said the culprits usually came into their hostel in the middle of the night and would tie their legs with ropes, before one of them will remove their trousers and they will take turns to molest them.
The student who could not be named for legal reasons, and spoke in Hausa, said he recognised one of the assailants to be a senior in the school.
Speaking on his condition, the affected student said, “I am feeling like someone poured hot water on my buttocks.
“That is why I need doctors’ assistance. I don’t want to lose my back.”
The mother of another one of the affected boys said she lost her husband four years ago and had been suffering to pay her son’s fees ever since.
She said it was her hope that her son would acquire formal education but she would not allow him to be molested and not do something about it.
The affected mother said her son called her and was about to tell her about the ordeal he was being subjected to before one of his teachers snatched the phone from him and assured her that everything was all alright.
Noting that she would have gone to check on her son in the school if not for the teacher’s assurances that distracted her, she called on the state government to make sure the matter is properly investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice.
Audio attached in Hausa….
Another mother of one of the students who identified the situation as the work of heartless people said, when they heard about the issue, the father himself went to the school but the school authorities denied initially until the boy confirmed what was happening.
“That is why we decided to take our son away from the school and pray that almighty will punish who ever hurts someone’s son,” she stated.
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Hassan Ibrahim Gwarzo Boarding Secondary School is an all-boys college in Kano owned by respected educationist Ibrahim Ayagi, who had described the sodomy reports as the work of some mischief makers determined to destroy the good image of the school.
However, he confirmed that about five JSS 1 students had complained to the school authority twice that, the first week they resumed at the school, an unidentified person had tried to remove their trousers in the night but quickly disappeared when he realized that the students were about to raise alarm.
He stated that each room had a security guard, and so it would be impossible for anyone to sneak in without their knowledge.
Investigations have shown that there have been sodomy cases in the past, but that the school authorities ignored the reports.
Some concerned people have called on the Ministry of Education in the state to withdraw the operating licence of Hassan Gwarzo College to serve as a deterrent to others.
When contacted, The Public Relations Officer of the Kano State Police Command, ASP Magaji Musa Majiya, confirmed the incident, adding that a thorough investigation is underway.
“Sooner or later we will tell the public because everything is transparent; we have nothing to hide,” he said.