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– The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), northern chapter has appealed to President Buhari to prevail on northern leaders to adopt the legal process in contracting marriages
– The clergy men also asked the president to address difficulties faced by Christians while practising their faith in the north and the incessant attacks on farmers and invasion of farmlands by Fulani herdsmen
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), northern chapter has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the alleged abduction, conversion and forced marriage of underage Christian girls by some emirs.
According to the guardian, the CAN delegation led by the chairman in the zone, Rev. Yakubu Pam, appealed to the president to prevail on other northern leaders to adopt the legal process in contracting marriages.
The Christian leaders also raised other issues affecting Christians in the region such as the difficulties faced by Christians while practising their faith in the north and the incessant attacks on farmers and invasion of farmlands by Fulani herdsmen.
Speaking with journalist after the meeting, Rev. Pam disclosed the purpose and details discussed in the meeting with the president.
He said: “We came to present ourselves as the Northern CAN chapter to the President and to tell him some of the challenges that Northern Christians are passing through.
“One of those challenges is that we are having difficulties in expressing our faith in the northern part of the country. We have also told him some of the difficulties we are passing through with the Fulani herdsmen.
“The farmers need to be protected and in fact, we told the President that we have been encouraging our youths to go into farming and they need to be protected and when they come into the city, there is no employment; that is why farmers must be protected.
“We also talked on the issue of girl-child abduction in the North. In some Northern states, some young girls and children are being abducted at 12 years old and the parents will just hear that the girls have been married to traditional rulers and emirs.”
In response, Buhari said he would keep faith with the oath of office he swore and treat all Nigerians equitably, The Nation reports.
The president, in a statement by his special adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, promised to restore peace to all parts of the country.
Recall that Mr. Isiyaku Tanko of Warkaza community in Kudun Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina state, recently accused the Emir of Katsina of forcefully abducting and marrying his 14-year-old daughter, Habiba Isiyaku, and denying her of her constitutional rights.
Habiba was alleged to have been abducted on August 16, by an official of the emir and worker in the palace, Jamilu Lawal.
The emirate denied the allegations that Habiba was eventually forcefully married out to Lawal.
It said the girl converted to Islam on her own volition and was later married out according to Islamic rites.