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Wednesday, March 16

Jubilation as 3 Girls Forcefully Converted to Islam and Married Off Have Been Rescued in Bauchi (Photo)

Jubilation as 3 Girls Forcefully Converted to Islam and Married Off Have Been Rescued in Bauchi (Photo)

The three girls abducted and forcefully married in Bauchi

It is joy and jubilation as three girls forcefully abducted and married according to Islam have been successfully released by the Nigerian Police in Bauchi.

The Nigerian Police has rescued three teenage girls, who were abducted in Bauchi State and forcefully converted to Islam.

According to the Prison Inmate Development Initiative, a non-governmental organisation, the girls were handed over to the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 12, Bauchi, Mr. Tunde Ogunsakin, on Tuesday, by the Shari’ah Commission in the state.

Blessing Gopep, 13, was abducted by two men identified as Iliya and Umaru, both living in Alkaleri, Bauchi State while her way back to Jos after spending holidays with her Uncle in Bauchi in August, 2015.

She was abducted in the company of her friend while at the Alkaleri motor park waiting for bus when two men, identified as Iliya and Umaru, arrived at the park on a motorcycle and abducted her.

On November 19, Linda Christopher was abducted by one Mallam Shagari in Tarsha Durumi village, while Progress Jacob, 13, was abducted by Mallam Musa in the Yelwa, Sabon Kaura area, both in Bauchi State, on her way back from church on January 3.

According to Ms. Gobet, Progress Jacob's aunt, the teenager went to church on the morning of January 3, 2016 and did not return when the church was presumed to have closed at about 10.30am, Punch reports.

The report went further to reveal that she was allegedly abducted in the Yelwa, Sabon Kaura Area of Bauchi State by one Mallam Musa on her way back from church, which is said to be a few metres away from her aunt’s residence.

Her case was reported to the traditional ruler (Seriki) of Sabon Kaura as well as the Yelwa Police Station, which only took her statement and directed her to inform them when she found Progress. Nothing else came from the police and the traditional ruler. The family was abandoned to their own fate as all efforts to locate the girl proved abortive.

The family was shocked when a letter was delivered to her from the Bauchi State Shari’ah Commission, informing her of Progress’ conversion to Islam.

The case of Sixteen-year-old Linda, a secondary school pupil in Enugu is not all that different. She was seen with one Mallam Shagari at Tarsha Durumi village in Bauchi State on November 19, 2015. According to reports, she was also forcefully abducted.

It was learnt that Linda had left Enugu four days earlier to join her parents, who lived in the Katanga Giwa village of Bauchi. But, she never got to her parents. Later, her parents got information about her abduction through a kinsman who knew the family.

Just like the Jacobs, her parents were shocked to receive a letter from the Shari’a commission, informing them of their daughter’s forceful conversion to Islam.

After many reports on the media, the police and Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, failed to rescue the girls until after much intense heat from the media.

The release of the girls was confirmed by the the Commissioner of Police, Bauchi State Police Command, Mr. Baba Tijjani.

Tijjani stated, “The girls have been released. They were not held by the Bauchi State Shari’ah Commission; they volunteered to become Muslims on their own and reported themselves to the Da’awah & Islamic Education Department, which took them to the Bauchi State Shari’ah Commission.

“Now, they have been produced. Progress Jacob and Linda Christopher have been released to their parents while Blessing Gopep’s parents have been told to come tomorrow (Wednesday) and they will go home with their daughter.”

Speaking on the matter, the Executive Director, PIDI, Mr. Mbami Sabka, said he was glad that effort to rescue the girls was not wasted.

He revealed that many more child brides will be released from forced abduction.

Sabka said, “I am extremely grateful to PUNCH newspapers for their help. We hope that other perpetrators would learn from this. We, as an NGO, won’t stop at this; we will continue the fight for the release of child brides. An end must be put to this illegal act.

“The police have asked the Shari’ah Commission to bring the abductors involved because the girls didn’t walk to the commission by themselves; someone brought them.”

The families of the abducted girls could not contain their joy and expressed happiness at the help rendered them. They believe the police will prosecute all those who participated in the evil and forced abduction and pay adequate compensation for the emotional torture the families and girls were made to pass through.

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