20TH JANUARY, 2024
MURIC SAYS ABDUCTION FOR CHRIST MUST STOP
— Calls for stiffer punishment for perpetrators
The Kano State Police Command, on 27th December, 2023, said it had dismantled a human trafficking syndicate that specialised in the abduction, buying, and selling of Muslim minors. No fewer than nine suspects operating around Kano, Bauchi, Lagos, Delta, Anambra, and Imo States, were arrested.
The syndicate that specialises in abducting young Muslims from Kano and other northern states to the Southern part of the country, renames, converts them to Christianity, and sells them to others for slavery.
The unabated abduction of Muslim minors has been condemned by an Islamic Human Rights group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC). The group warned the perpetrators to stop henceforth. The warning was contained in a statement made by the group’s Kano State Chapter Chairman, Malam Hassan Sani Indabawa, on Saturday, 20th January, 2024.
“This ugly trend must stop. Everyone has to rise against it and Nigerian Muslims will no longer condone a situation whereby Muslim minors are kidnapped, converted to Christianity and sold out.
“It is also worrisome to note the active role of the Church in siding and abetting the alarming rise in abduction, stealing, kidnapping, selling of young Muslims and thereafter converting them to Christianity and changing their names.
“This is buttressed by the participation of some private orphanages, mainly operated by Christians in a clandestine manner. Most of the discovered victims of this devilish abduction are adopted by these unscrupulous orphanages who end up converting the young Muslims to Christianity, in an apparently well planned and aggressive evangelism.
“Recently, the Gombe State Police Command had in collaboration with the Anambra State Police Command, bursted a kidnapper’s den in an orphanage in Onitsha, Anambra State, where they rescued 12 children while one Nkechi Odulye, the proprietor of the orphanage was arrested by the police.
“These Christian orphanages exploited the non existing policy on running and operating of private orphanages in the entire Muslim dominated northern Nigeria, thus having a field day on stalking and poaching of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC). Whenever exposed, they claimed to be helping the hapless OVC to have a better life by providing them with shelter, food and education. Whereas the bottom line is to bloat the Christian population.
“The case of a private orphanage in Kano is the best illustration of abduction for Christ hullabaloo. Kano State, alone, is yet to recover over 600 missing children from these criminal syndicates.
“The Police and agents of National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) had on 25th December, 2019 raided Du Mercy Orphanage Home at Nomansland, in Sabon Gari area, in Kano and apprehended the founder of the orphanage, one Professor Solomon M. Tarfa, for illegally operating an orphanage and rescued 27 children. The Orphanage has procured and adopted over 120 babies since its inception in 1996.
“One Dr Chudi Christopher Nwoye of Assumpta Clinic and Maternity was alleged to be procuring babies and handing them over to Professor Tarfa and his wife. Assumpta Clinic and Maternity has been operating in Kano, also for 30 years. Only God knows the magnitude of atrocities committed by Dr Nwoye before he fled, escaping police arrest.
“The proprietor of the Orphanage, Professor Tarfa was thereafter arraigned on a three count charge: abduction, kidnapping and forging of government document. He was found to be dishonestly using, as genuine, a certificate of registration which he claimed to have obtained from the Kano State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.
“During his trial, Professor Tarfa had on 10th August, 2021, admitted under oath that, ‘When I wanted to operate Du Mercy Orphanage I went to CAC and obtained certificate of incorporation but I did not register with any relevant authorities in Kano State.’
“But surprisingly, Professor Tarfa mobilized several international and local Christian groups and associations including CAN, by changing the narrative and claimed to be facing ‘religious persecution’ from Kano State Government. He and his collaborators declared Sabon Gari area as ‘Christian district.’
“Several Christian groups mounted pressure on both the federal and Kano state governments as well as the judiciary. The pressure was for the trial judge to drop all charges and discharge Professor Tarfa.
“The intense pressure mounted by some Christian groups, conveniently ignored the criminal allegations against Professor Tarfa for operating an illegal orphanage for almost 30 years in Kano. The Christian groups that blindly lined behind Professor Tarfa included the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), International Christian Concern (ICC), Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) UK, CSW Nigeria,
US – Nigeria Law Group and the Christian Social Movement, among others.
“However, the presiding Judge remained steadfast and committed to dispensing justice by treating the case on its own merit. Consequently, Professor Tarfa was convicted on 4th March, 2022 and jailed for 2 years in a brilliant judgment that even Professor Tarfa admitted to be ‘just and transparent.’
“However, and sadly, the Court of Appeal, on 27th January, 2023 discharged and acquitted the Professor claiming lack of diligent prosecution. The respondent, for inexplicable reasons, failed to file their respondent’s brief, thus effectively killing a good case.
The Kano State Ministry of Justice should pay more attention to its personnel by ensuring that such cases are prosecuted diligently.
“The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) now asks, why did the Christian world rally behind Professor Tarfa if he was not working for the church?
“Most worrisome is the active collaboration of these illegal orphanages with Clinics like Assumpta, where new born babies were procured and handed over to Professor Tarfa and his wife. The Kano State Government and indeed other northern state governments and every stakeholder must be worried about this development.
“We urge Kano State Government and other state governments, as a matter of urgency, to come up with policy on setting up of private orphanages. With the proliferation of private orphanages, the authorities should produce operational guidelines for streamlining the activities of such centers.
“The Nigeria Police, NAPTIP, Hisbah, Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) and Ministry of Women Affairs must keep vigilance on the activities of private orphanages and clinics, such as Du Mercy Orphanage and Assumpta Clinic and Maternity to ensure they comply with the rules and guidelines for operating such orphanages and health care facilities.
“We similarly call on wealthy Muslims, Islamic organizations and northern state governments, especially Kano State Government, under the leadership of His Excellency, Engineer Abba Kabir Yusuf, to show more concern and empathy in increased funding, adoption and rehabilitation of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) in the state.
“MURIC further calls on the press to continue to expose these criminals for what they are, noting that the press has an important role to play while eschewing partisanship and sectionalism.
“Lastly, we call on Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria (MULAN) and other Islamic organizations to follow-up on all court cases of criminal abduction of Muslim minors to ensure that justice is not only done, but also must be seen to have been done by procuring stiffest punishment for Christian zealots, who abduct Muslim minors for Christ.”
Malam Hassan Sani Indabawa,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC),
Kano State Chapter.
Saturday, 20th January, 2024