Sunday, May 16, 2021

Emir of Katsina illegally marries off Christian teenager to her abductor

The incident is not the first time the predominantly Muslim community would be oppressing native Christian Hausas.

and • April 17, 2021
Aisha Mani and Emir of Katsina, Abdulmumini Kabir
Aisha Mani and Emir of Katsina, Abdulmumini Kabir

The Emir of Katsina, Abdulmumini Kabir, has illegally married off Aisha Mani, a Christian teenager, to her abductor, Mohammed Samaila, without the consent of her family, Hausa Christian Foundation (HACFO) reported on Friday.

In a Facebook post, the foundation narrated how the Emir, in cahoots with the District Head of Kafur Local Government Area (LGA), Abdulrahman Rabe, conspired to perpetrate the unlawful act.

The report said Aisha Mani was married off to her abductor Mohammed Samaila by the monarch despite police efforts and a petition by a law firm.

Aisha’s family was said to have relocated her from Gidan Dandada, Rafin Iyaka, to another relative in Funtua after they suspected romantic advances from Mr Samaila.

The teenage girl was said to have, however, gone missing from Funtua and after long hours of searching, the case was reported to the police.

“Two days later, on 12th February 2021, Aisha’s Parents received a call from the District Head of Kafur telling them to stop searching for Aisha because she is safe with him in his house. He claimed that one Idris Shehu brought her to his house,” HACFO said.

Mr Rabe was said to have disregarded her family’s plea that she be returned and refused them the access to see Aisha “on the ground that she wanted to convert to Islam.”

The traditional ruler reportedly called Aisha’s parents after ten days, stating that her abductor wanted to marry Aisha, but they refused, insisting that due process must be followed.

Subsequently, Mr Rabe “went ahead to arrange marriage between Aisha and Mohammed Samaila without the consent and approval of Aisha’s Family.”

“The Area Commander told the District Head not to go ahead with their marriage plans between Aisha and Mohammed Samaila, but the district head ignored it,” the NGO said in its report, adding that the agreement was that Aisha be brought to the police station, one which the District Head ignored.

HACFO said the girl was rather taken to the Emir of Katsina same day the District Head was supposed to take her to the police station, adding that “on reaching there, the Emir of Katsina joined Aisha and Mohammed in marriage without the consent of her parents.”

The Non Governmental Organisation highlights that the incident was not the first time the predominantly Muslim community would be oppressing native Christian Hausas, forcefully abducting their daughters for marriage without parental or family consent.

According to the NGO, a total of nine girls have been abducted and forced into marriage. One of such ladies was said to have been returned after she ran mad, another returned dead, while yet another was returned to her parents with pregnancy.

Names of other abductees, according to the NGO, are: Jamima Solomon, Christiana Mamman, Deborah Habila, Phoebe Dankano, Rifkatu Markus, Saratu Isah (Returned her 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 (Currently in captivity).

The foundation alleged that crimes against Christians “are always swept under the carpet” in Rafin Iyaka Sabuwar Kasa, Kafur Local Government Area of Katsina.

It noted that despite a petition filed by lawyers to Aisha’s parents to the police through the Malumfashi Area Command, demanding the arrest, investigation and prosecution of Mr Rabe and Mr Samaila, the police have done nothing to secure the release of Aisha.

HACFO claimed that Mr Kabir and Mr Rabe, on several occasions, abuse human rights and “do everything possible to stop the constitutionally recognised law enforcement agencies like the police from rightly carrying out their statutory duties.”

The NGO claimed that Mr Rabe had been involved in supporting similar acts right from the time of his father who died years ago and “is also backed by the Emir of Katsina.”

When contacted on the telephone by Peoples Gazette, the state’s police spokesperson, Gambo Isa, claimed he was not aware of the incident.

“I’m not aware of the matter, I don’t know because it was reported by an NGO, if it is something reported by a tabloid…, but I cannot confirm the NGO’s report,” Mr Isa said.

Efforts to reach the HACFO proved abortive.

Ibrahim Bindawa, spokesman to the Emir of Katsina promised to get back to The Gazette when reached for comments on the matter Saturday morning.

“I am reciting the holy Quran please. I will get back to you in the next one hour,” he said.

Mr Bindawa did not revert as promised, hours later.

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