Posted by News Express | 12 March 2016 | 5,069 times
Northern Christians under the umbrella of Northern States Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) have raised alarm that more than 1,000 teenage girls in the North have been subjected into forced marriage and converted to another religion against their wish.
The revelation comes in the wake of the abduction of Ese Oruru allegedly by one Yinusa in Bayelsa State, who took her to Kano, forcibly converted her to a wife and impregnated her. Ese was rescued followed following public outcry and Yinusa apprehended ferried to Bayelsa to face trial.
The newly elected chairman of Northern CAN, Reverend Yakubu Pam, raised the alarm at a news conference in Kaduna shortly after the election of new executive members of the association. He condemned the increasing cases of abduction and forceful marriage of underaged girls in the region. Northern CAN warned traditional rulers and religious leaders in the region not to encourage forceful marriage of innocent underage girls against their wish, noting that such practice is a violation of the constitutional rights of the girls and the Nigerian laws.
The association challenged the traditional and religious leaders to lead campaigns against underage forced marriages, noting that such practices have a disastrous impact on the education, health and emotional wellbeing of the girls.
Rather than forcing the girls into early marriage, the new Northern CAN Chairman called on the traditional rulers and government in the region to send the young girls to school to enable them secure a better future.
He also called on security agencies to be proactive in such cases and ensure that perpetrators of such crime against humanity are brought to justice.
On Nigeria joining the Arab nations in the fight against terrorism, the Christian body urged the Federal Government to come out clean and explain to Nigerians the modalities involved in the coalition, and to ensure that their lives and property are guaranteed.
•Based on a Channels TV report. Photo shows Ese Oruru in Muslim garb upon her rescue.
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