How Emir of Katsina, Islamic clerics forcefully married off under-age Christian girls

April 19, 2021
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The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety), has accused Islamic leaders in Katsina state, including the Emir of Katsina of forcefully conversion of Christian under-age girls who are then married off to Muslims without their parents’ consent.

According to Intersociety in a statement by Emeka Umeagbalasi, Obianuju Igboeli, and Chidimma Evan Udegbunam, there has been indiscriminate abduction of scores of Hausa Christian girls and their forceful conversion to Islam.

The abducted Hausa Christian girls, who are under the school age of 16, are also forced into early marriage done outside the consent of their parents, Intersociety said.

The statement also disclosed that the indigenous Hausa Christians and their communities in Katsina State “are made to go through hell by Islamic authorities and supposedly secular security agencies in the State just because they are Christians.

It would be recalled that the Hausa Christians Foundation (HACFO) had in a statement issued on April 15, 2021 named the affected Hausa Christian areas in Katsina State to include a mixed Christian-Muslim Community of Rafin Iyaka Sabuwar Kasa in Kafur Local Government Area and Christian Community of Gidan Dandadada Rafin Iyaka, among others.

The Hausa Christians Foundation also mentioned names of nine Hausa Christian girls and young women as having in recent times been abducted and forcefully converted to Islam and forced into early marriage by the named Islamic leaders.

Principally fingered are the duo of the District Head of Kafur (Alhaji Abdulrahman Rabe) and the Emir of Katsina (Abdulmumini Kabir Usman).

The nine victims were named as Jamima Solomon, Christiana Mamman, Deborah Habila, Phoebe Dankano, Rifkatu Markus (rescued), Saratu Isah (was returned when she went mad after two years), Dije Yakubu Nalami (abducted as a married woman, and returned when she died), Rebeccah Ado (returned pregnant), and Aisha Mani (the latest abducted and converted and currently in captivity).

The statement also lamented that any time the Christian Community agitates against the injustice done to same, the Muslim youths will violently go after them, threatening to burn down their churches and houses.

Intersociety made a strong call to the Federal Government to not only protect minority Christians of Katsina State and their communities but also call to order and sanction the named District Head of Kafur and the Emir of Katsina.

According to the civil rights group, “The duo must further be compelled to respect the rights of the indigenous Hausa Christians to exist, live and practice their chosen religious faith while coexisting with citizens of other faith in peace and tolerance particularly members of Sunni and Shiite Muslim sects.

“It is not only the constitutional duty of the Nigerian Government to checkmate the religious zealotry and intolerance of the named Islamic or Muslim leaders, but it is also the duty of the same government to uphold and enforce the relevant provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.

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