The case of abducting Christian girls and their forceful conversion to Islam as well as forcing them into marriage has become a watershed issue in Northern Nigeria
A Nigerian Christian girl who was abducted in January and forced to convert to Islam is finally free and reunited with her family in Gidan Dio Nassarawa Tudun Wada Anchua, Kubau Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
Sadiya Amos escaped from her captors and returned to her family in the Kubau Council Area after being held hostage for more than a month, The Hausa Christians Foundation (HCF) told Vanguard.
Amos was kidnapped on the night of Jan. 5 and was forcefully given out in marriage to her abductors, according to an earlier report from The Guardian.
Last month, the Anglican Church and Hausa Christian community in Kubau raised concern over Amos’ abduction and alleged forced marriage to one of her captors.
“On 7th January 2020, Mr Amos Chindo was forced to go to a Sharia court in Anchau by some men sent from the Sharia Court without knowing any offences he committed. He wasn’t even allowed to tell his family where he was going, that was how he was forcefully taken to a Sharia Court as if he committed any criminal offence.
On getting there a self-acclaimed lawyer together with the Sharia Court Judge threatened him on the falsehood that he was preventing his daughter Sadiya from converting to Islam. The said lawyer together with the judge forged a Birth Certificate and raised Sadiya’s age from less than 17 to 19 years old just to support their claim.
That said lawyer who claimed to be advocating for Sadiya refused the father access to his daughter or to even know her whereabouts. After all the threat they adjourned the illegal trial to 14th January 2020.
According to a statement from the HCF, Amos and her parents attend the church where the Anglican Bishop of Ikara Diocese, Yusuf Ishaya Janfalan, presides.
According to Vanguard, Janfalan delegated priests to attend Amos’ court hearing on Jan. 14 and call for the Sharia court to acknowledge that both parents are Christians and not subject to Sharia law.
“[T]he judge didn’t listen to them or even give them the chance to speak and never even listen to Sadiya’s parents,” the HCF statement reads. “Instead, the Sharia judge went ahead to read his predetermined judgment and closed the case without the Sadiya in court.”
HCF said that the organization did its best to try to secure Amos’ release after the court’s decision but had no luck. At a protest in January, Janfalan and leaders from the Hausa Christians Foundation called on the government for an immediate intervention to secure Amos’ release.
“While doing our best to rescue her, we reached a point where we could not do anything due to financial constraint,” the HCF statement explains. “While praying to God for open doors to speed up her freedom, the Power of our God went ahead and completed the work all to His glory,” Christian Post reports.
Sadiya Amos told HCF that she was kept in a room for more than a month and forced to convert to Islam. She said that guards were posted outside her door so that she would not escape.
But one day, the guards fell asleep and left the door open. Amos said that allowed her to escape and return to her parents.
“The case of abducting Christian girls and their forceful conversion to Islam as well as forcing them into marriage has become a watershed issue in Northern Nigeria,” the HCF statement reads. “The Hausa Christians Foundation in less than three years has rescued 12 of these girls out of the over 30 cases that were reported to us from across Northern Nigeria, especially the Hausa Land.”
It is unclear as to who Amos’ captors are. However, kidnappings of hundreds of young girls in Nigeria have been carried out by different actors in recent years. Those actors include the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram, its splinter group the Islamic State West Africa Province and radical Fulani herdsmen.
“The moment these girls are abducted, they are subjected to all manners of evil just to take control of their minds,” HCF warns. “Once they took hold of their minds, these girls will only do everything they are asked to do.
“While the parents fight for the release of their daughters, these abductors continue to sexually abuse these girls, hypnotized their food, drinks, clothes, where they sleep, perpetually evoke evil spirit upon them to the point that these girls completely lost their minds and never think of going back to their home.”
HCF warned that it only takes about one or two weeks for a Christian girl to be abducted and married off.
“She will be sexually abused even before the marriage to make the parents give up on her when she becomes pregnant,” HCF stresses.
Open Doors USA’s 2020 World Watch List ranks Nigeria as the 12th-worst country in the world when it comes to Christian persecution.