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14yrs-old Christian girl abducted, forcefully converted to Islam, marriage – HACFO, CAN

…Parents, CAN raise alarm, allege rape, sexual abuse. 

…Police could not respond. 

by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

The victim, Miss Esther Duniya

Less than 23 days to the 29th May inauguration of President-elect, Bola Tinubu, and Vice President-elect, Kashm Shettima, a 14 years’ old Christian girl has been reportedly abducted from school and forcefully converted to Islam and marriage in Kaduna State of Nigeria. 

Miss Esther Duniya, an SS1 new student of Government Secondary School Danlawal, Ikara, Ikara LGA, of Kaduna State, was reportedly abducted from the school on 5th April, 2023.

This was contained in statement published in Hausa Christians Foundation (HACFO), dated 5th of May 2023, and made available to journalists in Kaduna via Christian forum group chat Saturday.

According to the report, Miss Esther Duniya has been living in Islamic captivity since the 5th April 2023, with the village head of Dorayi (Sarikin Dorayi), in IKara LGA of the state.

The report added that, Esther whose parents hails from Zangon Kataf LGA of Kaduna State is currently in the custody of Hakimin Makarfi in Makarfi LGA of the state, after all efforts to recover her from the captors through the police by the parents and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), failed to yield positive results.

“The Hausa Christians Foundation (HACFO) is saddened to bring to the notice of the public the continuous systematic persecution of the Northern Christians of Nigeria. 

“Among many of the painful occurrences is the recent abduction, forceful conversion and the abuse of Esther Duniya, an SS1 new student of Government Secondary School Danlawal Ikara, Ikara LGA.

“Miss Esther Duniya is 14 years old; was born on the 29th of April, 2009. She hails from Magamia Dama Kasuwa of Zangon Kataf LGA of Kaduna State,” it stated.

HACFO reported that Miss Esther relocated to Ikara and lived with her aunty, Mrs. Esther Danjuma, due to the insecurity which affected her village and, secondly, due to health challenge she has been battling with.

“Her aunty whose name is Esther also, took her to stay with her to treat her with local herbs, since her father – a very ill person, too – cannot take care of her as expected. When she started responding to treatment, her aunty thought it wise for her to continue with her education, which was on hold for a while, due to the health challenge.

“While the treatment continued, on 10th March, 2023, Esther was enrolled at Government Secondary School, Danlawal Ikara, which was very close to where her aunty runs her restaurant business.

“As Esther continued to attend her classes, on the 5th of April 2023 she left for school in the morning but couldn’t return home. Esther’s aunty started looking for her that very day but couldn’t find her. 

“The following day, she was alerted by someone who saw Esther in the house of one Mallam Sani Danmeyamma Danlawal. On reaching the house, his daughter by name Mansura, which happens to be Esther’s classmate, confessed that Esther came to her house to help her wash her cloth, but afterward, she left the house. 

“When the matter was reported to the Village Head of Danlawal, he summoned and questioned the said Mansura, who later confessed that Esther was taken to Dorayi to the house of one Aisha Basiru.

“On hearing this, Esther’s Aunty left for Dorayi in search of Esther, and on reaching there she received the shocking news of her life by one Badeyi Bala, who claimed to be a Policeman and one Alhaji Lawal, who is an aid of the Village Head of Dorayi (Dogarin Sarkin Dorayi). 

“The Dogarin Sarking Dorayi admitted that one Aisha brought Esther to him to convert her to Islam, which he did and, because of that, together with the said Badeyi Bala who claims to be a policeman, said that Esther is with them and they will not give her back to the parents, since they have now converted her to Islam. When the parents insisted on the return of Esther, these two staffs of the Village Head refused and even threatened their lives.

“In view of the threat they received and the refusal for Esther to be returned back to them, Esther’s Aunty went and reported the matter to the Kunkumi Police Station and, thereafter, the matter was transferred to the Makarfi LGA Divisional Police Station. Instead of handing over Esther back to her family, the Makarfi Police Command handed over Esther to the Makarfi District Head (Hakimin Makarfi). 

“Esther’s aunty together with some CAN officials of Makarfi LGA went to see the Hakimi on the same matter but he (Hakimi) refused to grant them audience. The same Hakimi handed over Aisha to Daawa, the Islamic group in-charge of converting and indoctrinating Muslim converts, who are now boasting and threatening to convert even the Esther’s Aunty.

“The same matter was taken to the Zaria Police Command by the same Muslim group to gain the support of the Police, because the Zaria Police Command ignored justice and decided to scold Esther’s Aunty for insisting on the release of her Daughter. 

“Monday, 1st May, 2023, Esther’s biological father, Mr. Duniya, despite his health challenge, risked his life to go and see the Hakimin Makarfi. Instead of listening to him, Hakimin Makarfi, together with the Daawah group, threatened to convert him also.

“When they brought Esther to see him, she was crying and wanting to follow him, but the Hakimi said that he will not return Aisha to her Parents. She will stay with him for one month until she finally decided to speak of her intention publicly to remain a Muslim.

“We, as Christians, understand and appreciate the need for peaceful co-existence among the Christians and Muslims of Kaduna State and even Nigeria as a whole, which is why we the Hausa Christians Foundation, on behalf of the Duniya’s Family decided to write to the Nigerian Government, the Nigerian Police Force and all the relevant law enforcement agencies to ensure the safe release and return of Esther Duniya back to her family.

“From experience, our Christian girls that are usually abducted and forced into Islam are usually raped, abused sexually, physically and psychologically, and even forced into marriage, which we are afraid that such have happened to our Sister Esther. 

“Knowing full well that, Esther is still a minor (just 14 years old) and cannot make decision for herself, we are calling on your good sense of justice to intervene into the matter, and to see that, Esther Duniya is re-united back with her family and continue with her education, which is paramount. This can go a long way in promoting the peaceful co-existence between these people of different faith in their communities, Kaduna State and Nigeria in general. 

“We will continue to reject such evil doings and advocate for justice and respect for human rights and dignity across board.

“We, therefore, call on all Christians the world over to be praying for the Christians in Northern Nigeria. The persecution is surging and unbearable; from deliberate abduction, forced conversion to Islam and forced marriage of our young Christians girls through the help of the Islamic traditional rulers, to the displacement of several communities and kidnapping of many others for ransom. May God help Esther and bring her back safely, in Jesus’ Name; Amen.”

(Published on 5th May, 2023, by HACFO Advocacy Division

Hausa Christians Foundation (HACFO)

HACFOPersecutionWatch. “Please pray & share,” it stated. Contacted, the Kaduna Police Command spokesman, DSP Mohammed Jalige, could not respond till the time of filing this report.

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