A northern Nigerian man married a 15-year-old at Katsina state despite a growing outcry over claims that the teenager had been forced to marry the man, who abducted her.
The bride, named locally as Aisha Mani, was married to Mohammed Samaila, in Rafin Iyaka Sabuwar Kasa, Kafur LGA of Katsina State, a mixed community of both Christian and Muslim Hausas on Saturday in a ceremony without the consent of the girl’s family.
Mohammed initially denied the claims, insisting that he was not dating the young girl.
“The said Mohammed Samaila and his father kept denying having anything to do with Aisha. These strange moves continue for about two years and the village head was not willing to take any action against the said Mohammed Samaila. When the family of Aisha could no longer tolerate what they were seeing, they decided to relocate Aisha from the village Gidan Dandada Rafin Iyaka, to Funtua for Aisha to be staying with her elder sister,” Hausa Christian Foundation (HACFO) said via a Facebook post.
Mohammed, the illegal groom, was said to have abducted Aisha.
“On 10th February 2021, Aisha went missing from the house where she stays. When the elder sister and her husband searched everywhere possible but they could not locate Aisha, they quickly reported it to the Funtua Police Station to help them find Aisha,” they added.
“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. On hearing that, Aisha’s family went to see the District Head of Kafur at his palace in other to bring their daughter back home, but to their dismay, it was not possible. He refused to release her on the ground that she wanted to convert to Islam. Aisha’s Parents insisted but the District Head refused them access to their Daughter.
Ten days later, the District Head called Aisha’s parent to tell them that one Mohammed Sama’ila wants to marry Aisha their daughter. When Aisha’s Parents went to the District Head’s palace, they rejected the issue of the marriage. They insisted their daughter be returned to them and continue with her school and if anyone wants to marry her, he should follow the due process. The District Head ignored Aisha’s Parents and went ahead to arrange the marriage between Aisha and Mohammed Samaila without the consent and approval of Aisha’s Family.”
When Aisha’s Family did everything possible and peaceful for Aisha to be returned to them and they were ignored and humiliated, they decided to engage the services of a law firm; A. U. Ajodo & CO. Legacy Chambers to help them bring Aisha back.”
The Law Firm immediately wrote a petition against the District Head ( Alh. Abdulrahman Rabe and Mohammed Sama’ila to the Katsina State Commissioner of Police through the Malumfashi Area Command demanding for the immediate arrest, investigation and prosecution of these two suspects and the immediate release of Aisha back to her Family. Unfortunately, the Police did not arrest these two culprits or did anything to ensure the return of Aisha. They only summoned the District Head of Kafur without the said Mohammed Samaila. The Area Commandant told the District Head not to go ahead with their marriage plans between Aisha and Mohammed Samaila, but the district head ignored it.”
They later agreed for the girl to be brought to the police station and be returned back to her family but the District Head refused to comply. Instead, he decided to take the Girl to the Emir of Katsina at Katsina on that same day he was to bring the girl to the police station. On reaching there, the Emir of Katsina joined Aisha and Mohammed in marriage without the consent of her parents.”
As it is now, the Katsina state police command is not willing to carry out their statutory duties as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution and ensure justice is done.
It is very important to note that this is not the first time such a thing is happening. The said District Head of Kafur is known for such criminal acts right from the time of his late father. When his father was on the throne, he was involved in supporting the abduction and forced marriage of many Hausa Christian Girls.”
The village of Gidan Dandada Rafin Iyaka, Sabuwar Kasa, Kafur LGA, Katsina State has suffered such unjust treatments from the District Head of Kafur who is also backed by the Emir of Katsina. To date a total of nine Hausa Christian Girls have been abducted, forcefully converted to Islam and forced into early marriage. The following are the names of the girls that were abducted, forcefully converted to Islam and forced into marriage from this village by the same District Head of Kafur:
1) Jamima Solomon
2) Christiana Mamman
3) Deborah Habila
4) Phoebe Dankano
5) Rifkatu Markus (Rescued)
6) Saratu Isah (Returned her when she went mad after two years)
7) Dije Yakubu Nalami (Abducted as a married woman, and returned when she died)
8) Rebeccah Ado (Returned Pregnant)
9) Aisha Mani (Currently in captivity)”
It is on record that any time this Christian Community agitates against the injustice done to them, the Muslim youths will violently go after them and threaten to burn down the Church and houses of the Christians.
The Hausa Christians Foundation (HACFO) is working tirelessly to ensure the safe and unconditional return of Aisha Mani and to ensure that justice is duly served.”
We covet your prayers and support to ensure that Aisha is reunited with her family. Kindly pray for the Northern Christians especially the families whose daughters have been abducted, forced into Islam and married. Northern Nigeria is becoming hell for Christians to live in.”