…Renews call for end to forceful adoption, conversion of Christian girls
BY VICTOR BUORO, ABUJA – The Christian Rights Agenda (CRA) has described the judgment of a Federal High Court in Yenogoa, Bayelsa State, over the case of Ese Oruru, who was abducted, converted to Islam and impregnated by one Yunusa Dahiru in Kano in 2015 as heart-warming.
The CRA in a statement by its interim Director of Publicity, Mr. Tom Chiahemen on Saturday, said it received the court judgment with happiness, saying; “at last, judgement has come the way of Ese Oruru.”
It equally commended the courage of the judiciary in the matter, adding however that it was worrisome that the issue of forced conversion of Christian women and marrying them off to Muslims was becoming alarming in most Northern States, with the governments in those States not only turning a blind spot to the plight of the victims including married women, but even being complicit in the henouis crime.
The CRA cited the case of Mrs. Regina Suleman, a married woman and mother of 2, who hails from Marabar Kanya, in Kafur Local Government Area, where traditional rulers and clerics in that area reportedly abducted, nullified her Christian marriage, forcefully converted her to Islam and eventually married her off to a Muslim man.
It further states; “Again, in Malamawa, Malumfashi Local Government Area, three more girls from the same family were being abducted and subjected to the same evil practices.”
The CRA lamented that in a secular state, citizens, especially women, “are forcefully abducted and converted into another religion against their fundamental right to freedom of religion as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Accordingly, the CRA commended the Federal Court in Bayelsa presided over by Justice Jane Inyang for the conviction and sentencing Yunusa to 26 years for his criminal actions against Ese Oruru.
The CRA also applauded members of the Civil Society groups, who it noted that in spite all odds, stood to ensure that justice prevail five years after the incident.
It further said; “We hereby call on other CSO operating in the North to emulate their counterparts in Bayelsa to rise up to the task of seeking justice for the many young Christian girls that are still in the hands of their captors.
“We call on the Katsina State Government to without further delay ensure the release of Amina Mai Nasara, Halima Mai Nasara, Ummi Dan’malam, all of Malamawa in Malumfashi Local Government Area and Regina Suleman – Marabar Kanya, Kafur Local Government, who are still in custody of their captors”.
The CRA specifically reiterated its call on the Kano state Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje to with immediate effect return Rebecca and all Christian girls to their parents.
It noted that Ganduje had weeks ago converted the teenage Christian girls to Islam but claimed he did it under his foundation and not in his capacity as governor of Kano state.