Groups Condemn Forceful Abduction, Conversion of Northern Children to Christianity in the South

The Coalition of Northern Groups is deeply touched by the report of nine innocent children forcefully separated from their parents and moved to Eastern Nigerian towns.

We are profoundly agitated to learn that the children were also baptized with new names and forcefully converted to a religion other than the one their parents practice.

We are also moved that all the players on both removing and receiving points belong to a certain Nigerian tribe whose members are deeply entrenched in every town, city and village in northern Nigeria.

We are particularly saddened that days after the discovery of this heinous crime, no federal, state or local government, cultural, traditional, or religious group, NGO, or international organization has spoken on the matter.

We are further disturbed that even the national and international media except just a few appear to want to downplay this matter.

OBSERVATIONS
1. The fact that according to the revelation, this act of merciless crime against children who by definition require the guardianship and protection of adults, had been going on for more than five years undetected and undetected, raises concerns over the existence of several more similar operation locations in many other parts of northern Nigeria.

2. The fact that the cheft, movement are forceful conversion target mainly minors who are among the most vulnerable and innocent class of any society suggests a much wider agenda for the ultimate crippling of northern viability by debasing its human resource capital base.

3. The fact that the presidency which is always quick to condemn less grievous actions when they occur in the South is now silent in the face of more oppressive, obnoxious and heinous crime of physically and emotionally harming the most vulnerable people in northern society suggests that the North in the present context has been unjustly and unfairly abandoned and exposed with no official cover or protection.

4. The fact that a large section of the media, reporters, analysts and commentators appear to be uninterested in this matter, indicate a much wider coverup conspiracy whenever the northern interest is fundamentally breached.

OUR STAND
1. CNG calls on all northern societies to first and foremost refuse to accept any attempt to treat this particular case and similar others that may be uncovered as mere child trafficking considering the ages of the victims and the ritual of their renaming and forced conversion to Christianity.

2. The North must insist that in addition to child theft, molestation and forced separation from parents, this particular case and subsequent others that may be digged up, be appropriately dealt with as proselytism which is the act or fact of religious conversion, or attempts at conversion by ‘unjust means that violate the conscience of the human person’.

3. We therefore demand an Act by the Kano state government to amend the Criminal Code so that the minimum sentence for offences involving trafficking of persons under the age of eighteen years are treated as felony with lifetime sentences or death for severer offences such as this one.

a. We demand that all northern states governments also enact similar laws to protect our children from further abuse, torment, and mental or physical exploitation.

4. We demand further enactments by all northern states governments to compel parents, relatives, caretakers, and others who are charged with child care and guidance, media, school officials, physicians, police officers, and other such authority figures to report any signs of abuse or exploitation against a child anywhere in the North.

5. We demand that the federal and Kano state governments set up credible independent commissions of enquiry to holistically look into the depth of the crime including motive, spread and extent of individual and group involvement in the at least the last 10 years.

6. We demand that all northern states governments initiate comprehensive investigations into the possibility of similar crimes carried out, going on, or planned to be carried out in any part of the North.

7. We call on all northern lawyers and all categories of legal practitioners of northern extraction to mobilize and insist on thorough investigation, prompt and diligent prosecution, appropriate conviction and sentence of individuals, groups and interests directly or remotely connected to the current case and similar others that may be unearthed.

8. We demand all northern states governments to order the immediate relocation of luxurious bus stations from the outskirts to approved mainstream motor parks in view of the fact that most cases of trafficking in drugs, arms and humans are carried out using these buses.

9. We alert the entire northern public especially those in neighbourhoods populated by elements of this identified notorious ethnicity to be extra vigilante with their children and wards.

a. They are advised to begin a vigorous watch your neighbour initiative with a view to reporting every suspicious movements, actions and conduct relating to drug circulation, concealment of dangerous items and other crimes to the authorities and insist that such person or persons relocate from their midst.

10. Finally, we call on the northern public to immediately commence the compilation of lists of all missing children and persons in the last 20 years for transmission to the authorities and copied to the CNG.

CONCLUSION
We conclude by giving notice that failure of the authorities to act satisfactorily in the circumstances outlined above and in the event of the slightest perception of attempts at unfair misappropriation of justice or coverup in this case, the CNG would be left with no option that to call out the northern public to a mass protest to press for justice for these innocent children and others suffering or likely to suffer similar fates.

SIGNED
Abdul-Azeez Suleiman
CNG Spokesperson

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MURIC CONDEMNS KIDNAPPING FOR CHRIST

Nine Muslim children who had been kidnapped, converted to Christianity and sold into slavery were rescued by the Kano Police Command on Friday, 11th October, 2019. The children were abducted in Kano and taken to Onitsha in Anambra State.

The abduction has been condemned by an Islamic group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) which spoke through its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Monday, 14th October, 2019. In its most recent press release, MURIC described the latest discovery as nauseating, wicked and reprehensible.

“Kidnappers have taken over the house of God. The phenomenon of kidnapping for Christ has now rented the air. We are shocked to our marrows. It is the height of acrobatic religiousity, gymnastic spirituality and paradoxical criminality. It is such a big shame that some Christian fanatics will live among us only for the purpose of abducting our children, converting them to Christianity and selling them into slavery. Kidnapping for Christ is disgusting, nauseating, wicked and reprehensible.

“We see it as an extension of the ‘Nigeria for Christ’ slogan. Christian evangelists are no longer satisfied with their illegal taking over of commercial vehicles where they scream over the heads of peaceful and law-abiding Nigerians going or coming from work. The overnight vigils where they raise noise level beyond 100 decibels are not enough for them.

“They are now stealing our children as the latter emerge from their Islamiyyah schools. Why do they hate us so much? Why do they pretend to be our neighbours? An open declaration of hostilities would have been better because it would have alerted us to the fact that we are living in the midst of foes.

“Nonetheless, MURIC will not allow emotion to becloud its intervention in this sensitive and ugly development. We are aware that not all Christians are involved in this criminal behavior. Many adherents of Christianity are decent and peace-loving. Such Christians will never decend so low as to seize, convert and sell Muslim children.

“We therefore appeal to Muslims throughout the federation to dispassionately separate the wheat from the chaff. This Kano 9 incident should not be allowed to generate animosity between them and their Christian neighbours. Neither should it ignite spontaneous attacks on non-indigenes in Muslim majority areas.

“Nonetheless, MURIC charges Muslim parents to be security conscious particularly around their children. Mallams in charge of Islamiyyah schools and madrasahs all over Nigeria are urged to do head-counting before the commencement of classes and immediately after. Muslim children should be given security tips. For instance, movement in groups should be encouraged while residents should heighten their vigilance.”

MURIC blamed the phenomenon of abduction for Christ on aggressive proselytisation.

“This kind of abduction can be traced to Christian aggressive proselytization in Nigeria. Nigerian Christians take preaching like war. The firebrand evangelists take over commercial vehicles. It is only in Nigeria that people preach inside buses and distract the attention of drivers.

“Such arrant nonsense is not allowed in saner climes but in Nigeria, once one Christian starts this abnormal thing inside a commercial bus, others encourage him by clapping and singing along with him whether or not there are Muslims in the same vehicle. It is total disregard for social decorum and aggravated assault on civilized behavior.

The organization also argued that the Kano 9 imbroglio could not have been the first.

“We have every reason to contend that the Kano 9 imbroglio is not the first. The systematic abduction of Muslim children has been going on long before 2014. These Christian kidnappers are methodical and meticulous. They study the environment for some time and plan their escape routes with microscopic accuracy.

“The Kano 9 were just lucky to have been found. Thousands have disappeared without trace. There must be other criminal syndicates like those caught recently. The identities of Muslim kids are changed once they are abducted. They are then given Christian names and sold away to human traffickers and ritualists. It is another angle to the crusade against Muslims and it changes the narrative.

“MURIC holds firebrand Christian clerics who preach hate in their churches responsible for this onslaught against Muslims and their children. Our mosques are being demolished. Our children are being kidnapped and forcefully converted to Christianity.

“School authorities lock out Muslim children on account of ordinary head scarf. The Muslim girl-child suffers daily from the illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and blatant impunity of Christian school officials. Muslims have become endangered species in Nigeria. Oh God! What have we done to deserve this?

“We appeal to the security agencies to provide adequate security around Islamiyyah schools and protect Muslim children from Christian abductors. The Kano 9 culprits must face the full wrath of the law. There must be no cover-up.

“They work in syndicates. Efforts must be made to apprehend other Christian groups targeting Muslim children for abduction. Security agents should beam their searchlights on night buses leaving the cities, particularly northern and South Western cities where Muslim population is thick. Good Christians should reject and expose the bad eggs among them in the same way that mainstream Muslims rejected and exposed Boko Haram.

MURIC also mocked some activists and the rest of civil society for being selective.

“We are miffed by the attitude of some members of civil society and human rights activists. They raise hell and brimstone when a single Christian is involved in what looks like a denial but look the other way when thousands of Muslims are deprived. This is selective activism. It is sheer playing to the gallery.

“Nigerians will recall the hullabaloo that followed the Ese Oruru saga in March 2016. Where are the advocates of girl-child rights who nearly brought down the ceilings of heaven over a mere case of elopement? Where are the human rights lawyers today?

Who will defend the poor, innocent Muslim children now that our human rights lawyers have elected to press the mute button on their remote controls? Why have the Nobel prize winners maintained a deafening silence over the persecution of hijab-wearing students in the South West?

“The hijab controversy has been raging in the South West for over three years now and they are yet to find their voice. They have refused to speak up for millions of female Muslim children who have been repressed, depressed and oppressed. Many of them have been forced out of school and our human rights activists believe it is business as usual. We affirm that double standards have the capacity to diminish credibility. Nigerians should know them for what they are the next time they speak again.

“On the foreign scene, we are not surprised that the question on the lips of President Donald Trump is always ‘Why are you killing Christians in Nigeria?’ Trump will never ask, ‘Why are you persecuting Muslim girls in Nigeria?’ As the arrow head of Christian crusade against Muslims all over the world, we jog Trump’s conscience on the travails of the Muslim girl-child in South West Nigeria.

“We call on justice-loving Americans to speak up. We appeal to the United Nations to check the violation of Allah-given fundamental right of the Nigerian Muslim girl-child to the dignity of her human person and the manifestation of her personal identity as a Muslim.

“In our closing remarks, we strongly denounce kidnapping in the name of Christ. We urge the police to prosecute those arrested over the Kano 9 pallaver. We also appeal to the security agencies to provide adequate protection for Islamiyyah school children.

“Finally, we charge the UN to check the infringements against the Nigerian Muslim girl-child. We urge Nigerian Muslims to regard abductors of the Kano 9 as the black sheep in Christiandom who do not in any way represent Nigerian Christians as a corporate whole. The good Muslims and good Christians should therefore expose the evil ones and continue to peacefully coexist in the interest of the Nigerian project.”

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)