Sola Ojo, Kaduna
Some of the rescued inmates of Nigga Rehabilitation and Skill Acquisition Centre, Rigasa in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State have been in chains for eight years, the state Commissioner for Human Services and Social Development, Hajiya Hafsat Baba, disclosed yesterday.
The centre recently attracted public attention after Governor Nasir El-Rufai, alongside security men, paid unscheduled visit to the centre to rescue, evacuate 147 inmates and shut it down on Saturday.
Speaking with this reporter on telephone, the commissioner said her ministry was trying to profile them, according to their states, as majority of them were not from Kaduna State.
She also said four of them were from neighbouring countries of Cameroon and Republic of Niger, while some have been reunited with their families.
“We have been in and out of hospitals. We have conducted HIV test on all of them. We have found those that are positive whom we have to link up with clinics.
“Those that were sexually assaulted are giving their statements to the police. In all, they are doing fine but we have some with mental issues and we have taken them to the Federal Neuro Psychiatric Hospital in Barnawa, Kaduna, for medication while the sick ones were taken to Barrau Dikko Specialist Hospital. None of them is on admission for now.
“Of course, they have been under torture. They were all in chains. We have to call on welder to come and remove the chains in their legs. Some of them have been in chains for eight years. They just removed the chains this afternoon,” she said.
On why it took the state government such a long time before taken action after several media reports, she said: “People have been talking about the centre and they started asking questions after the one police raided a few weeks ago. So, the governor just paid unscheduled visit to the place yesterday and shut it down.”