Some dehumanising rehabilitation centres were recently discovered by security agencies in some parts of the country.
According to Mr Onike, what makes the issue worrisome is that it cut across regions and religions.
“It cuts across regions due to the fact that, the so called rehabilitation centres had been discovered in Daura, Katsina, Kaduna, Kwara and Lagos.
“Therefore, no particular region should be labelled as the promoter of the practice.
“The malaise does not discriminate religion, though, most of the operators so far detected have been traced to a particular religion.
“From the reports, it was also established that patients of the centres claimed to belong to various religions.
“They were taken to the centres by their parents and guardians to rehabilitate them from drug addiction, mental illnesses and correction from waywardness.
“It could therefore be seen that these rehabilitation centres are being justified as a means to fill the gaps that our correctional institutions have left. This is a dangerous trend,” he said.
Mr Onike said that this clarification became necessary in order not to erroneously believe and spread the misconception that the practice was encouraged by a religion.
“Scripturally, it is not acceptable in Islam to use torture and harm to change human behaviour.
“It’s a clear religious principle that “harm must be eliminated. There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm. We can never get cure from what is harmful.
“Verily, God sent down the disease and the cure, and for every disease he made a cure. Seek treatment, but do not seek treatment by the unlawful means.
“No human being should torture or harm his fellow human under whatever guise,” he said.
Mr Onike said that NASFAT would never support or condone the violation of any human right by the operators of those centres.
“Nonetheless, the question we should be asking ourselves are, why should a parent resorts to taking his wards to a dehumanising centre in his quest for the child’s rehabilitation from waywardness, drug addiction or mental illness?
“The use of dehumanising means of correction is not religious, but traditional and cultural.
“It is a manifestation of the urgent need by government at all levels to pay attention to various social justice apparatus and systems in Nigeria where many are exposed to mental illness.