… alleges “Katsina Emirate supports, abducts, convert to forceful marriage”
By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Voice of Northern Christian Movement of Nigeria, VNCMN, has observed that President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has vehemently refused to face the problem of ethno-religious crises that is presently bringing the government to its knees in the country.
VNCMN Executive Director, Rev. Kallamu Musa Ali Dikwa, in an open letter addressed to President Buhari on what has been generally described as ‘Advanced Islamic Jihad Against The Church In Northern Nigeria, Call For Decisive Action.’
In the letter, made available to journalists, the group lamented that some individuals have arrogated status to themselves as semi-gods and see themselves above the laws of the land.
The letter reads, in part, “It is crystal clear that ethno-religious crises that is currently bringing President Muhammadu Buhari government to its knees ought to be addressed by telling ourselves the truth, no matter whose ox is gored.
“Federal government has vehemently refused to face the problem squarely and address same because some individuals have arrogated status or class to themselves as semi-gods, who live amongst us, and see themselves above the laws of the land.”
The letter noted that some religious clerics promote hate speeches and always motivate and incite their adherents to kill, regretting that it is being done with the knowledge of security agencies. Unfortunately, the security agencies have failed to act decisively.
“We submitted copies of CD plates of their teachings and recommended that they should be arrested and prosecuted accordingly,” the group explained.
The group added, “It is on record also that we had earlier written to the President of the Senate, dated 4th July, 2011, and our letter was referred to the chairman, Senate Committee on the National Security and Intelligence for necessary action. However, the then chairman, Senator Mohammed Magoro, who is a Muslim and from Kebbi state, failed to act decisively. Sadly till date, nothing has been done about it.”
The group observed that another area of concern that has become a norm in northern Nigeria is to freely abduct girls, who have not reached the age of maturity, and forcefully marry them out without the consent if their parents.
It said, “One of such happened in Alkaleri local government of Bauchi state where a girl, called Maryam Lakodong, was abducted by one Alhaji Magaji Gobirawa and Sharia Courts presided over by an Area Court Judge, Alkali Musa Mohammed Ginsa, joined Maryam and Gobirawa as husband and wife without the consent of the parents.
“Her parents challenged his decision at the Appeal Court in Jos, Plateau state, and judgment was passed on Wednesday, 9th November, 2016. Then Justice Joseph Tur ordered the Bauchi State Commissioner of Police, Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice to return Maryam to her parents, but nothing has been done till date.
“Mr President, similar incident happened in your home state, Katsina, in November 2016, where a 14-year girl by name Habiba Ishaku was abducted, converted and forced into marriage with one Jamilu Tukur. Surprisingly, that illegal and unlawful marriage was facilitated and sponsored by the Emir of Katsina, Alhaji Abdulmumini Kabir Usman, and stamped and approved by Katsina Emirate Council. Despite the outcry and complaints lodged by the parents of the girl to the appropriate authorities, nothing was done.”
On the abduction of Dapchi school girls, VNCMN noted, “It is a notorious fact and within the public domain that Dapchi school girls were abducted by the Book Haram on the February 18, 2018, upon the payment of huge amount of money, unspecified, as reported by the Vanguar newspaper of Friday, August 17, 2018, they were released on the 21st March, 2018, with the exception of the only Christian girl, Leah Sharibu.
“It gives us a great concern that, despite the countless promises of the Federal Government of Nigeria that Leah Sharibu would be released, up till now nothing has been done.”
The group explained, “We the Voice of Northern Christian Movement of Nigeria sacrificed our lives, time and resources in support of the Buhari/Osinbajo bid during the 2015 electioneering campaign for reason when you, General Muhammadu Buhari, met with Catholic Bishops of Nigeria during your 2015 campaign promises, that if God gives you power, you are going to treat Christians and Muslims in the country equally.
“Fight Book Haram insurgents, including their sponsors, and fight corruption to free Nigeria from corrupt leaders.”
VNCMN called on President Buhari to immediately take decisive steps to address the senseless killings of innocent souls in the country in the name of farmers/herdsmen clashes.
It also called on the international community to observe the attitude of the Federal Government of Nigeria in handling the killings of innocent Nigerian masses (farmers) by the so-called Fulani ‘herdsmen.’
It urged the international community to declare Fulani herdsmen murderers as terrorist group, pointing out that there was no reason for their continued killings of innocent farmers across the country.
It described as great lies on the part of President Buhari to keep deceiving the international community that Boko Haram has been defeated, explaining that a visit to Borno state shows that about six local government areas are still under the control of the terrorists.
The local government areas, according to the group include Dikwa, Gamboru/Ngala, Kal-Balge, Mafa, Konduga and Bama, stressing that President Buhari should stop deceiving the world that his government has defeated insurgency in the country.