16-Year-Old Girl Freed After Being Abducted And Forced To Convert To Islam

Some months ago, the Hausa Christians Foundation (HACFO) reported that a 16-year-old Hausa Christian girl, Zainab Bulus Bawa, was forcefully kidnapped, converted to Islam and married off by the Village Heads of Anchau, Kaduna, Alhaji Idris Yusuf, Alhaji Usman Idris Kugawa and the Islamic leaders of that area without the consent of her biological parents.

Now, it has been reported that the girl has been freed and has reunited with her parents after an online campaign was launched to that effect.

Read the press statement by HACFO below;

Zainab Bulus Bawa is a 16 year old Hausa Christian Girl from Kugawa of Kubau LGA, Kaduna State Nigeria, who was forcefully taken away from her parents, spellbound, converted to Islam, detained and married off by the Village Head of Anchau Alhaji Idris Yusuf, Alhaji Usman Idris Kugawa and the Islamic leaders of that area without the consent of her biological parents is now freed after four months of battle for her freedom.

Saleh Idi Magami is a young Hausa Muslim man that goes to the Hausa Christians settlement of Kugawa on an unknown mission although he works on their farm for a daily pay. Kugawa is a Hausa settlement of Both Christians and Muslims. Both of them have a history of living peacefully with each other, but the Muslim side decided to destroy this peaceful co-existence by the support of the district and village heads of Anchau who sponsored their Muslims brothers to commit evil against the Hausa Christians and then use the Muslims leaders to rally round and cover it with religion. They also used the LGA security team and the executives to support them, threaten and inflict pains on the Hausa Christian settlement of Kugawa.

On the 9th of March, 2018, the motive behind the coming of Saleh Idi Magami into the settlement of the Hausa Christians of Kugawa was uncovered when the parents of Zainab knew that he was actually luring their daughter into a relationship with him. And when he discovered the parents were about to find out what’s going on, he quickly kidnapped the girl out of the village by the help of his sponsors.
Alh. Usman Idris Kugawa is the self-acclaimed richest man of the area, who believes he can use his wealth to achieve anything he wants. He called the parents of Zainab to inform them that he was actually the person that helped Saleh Idi Magami to take the girl away and that he did so because the Saleh in questions wanted to marry her. And when they took the girl out of her parent’s place, they took her to the Village Head of Anchau to keep the girl, which in real sense Kugawa is not even under his jurisdiction, but he did so because he and the Village Head of Anchau are allies. After Kidnapping Zainab, they indoctrinated and hypnotized her and then brought religion into the matter; “that now, she is a Muslim and as a Muslim, she cannot live with a Christian, and that they have given her Islamic parents according to Islamic injunctions who now have authority over her”.

The parents of Zainab have been running helter-skelter pleading with the Village Head to release their daughter but to no avail. Instead of listening to them, they are been rebuked and threatened on a daily basis. They did everything possible, but the Muslims would not return Zainab back to her parents.

On the 9th of May, 2018, the Parents of Zainab reported the matter to the Hausa Christians Foundation (HACFO) and after listening to them, the HACFO Team went to Kugawa to ascertain the matter, and on reaching Kugawa we ascertained the truth of what they reported to us. Without further hesitation we went to the Village Head of Anchau on the Matter, he together with his cabinet and the Muslims leaders all attested to the initial report that came to us by the Parents of Zainab without any contradiction.

In order to broker peace, and peaceful coexistence between the Christians and the Muslims of Kugawa and Anchau, we advocated on the need not to infringe on the right of anyone on any ground. We discussed at length for about 2hours and after then, we all reached a conclusion that justice will be done by returning Zainab back to her parents, and if Saleh Idi Magami really wants to marry her, he should go as a responsible man and follow the due process. They called the parents of Zainab back to go and receive their daughter the following day, but on reaching there the story totally changed to our greatest disappointment. The Village Head and the Alhaji Usman Idris Kugawa now said that they don’t have control any more in the matter, which actually they were the ones that sponsored this atrocity. The Parents of Zainab and the Team of the Hausa Christians Foundation were left stranded with nowhere to go. They left Zainab under the Custody of the Islamic leaders who eventually joined her in marriage with Saleh Idi her abductor. and they continued with their enchantment upon her

That was how they ignored every of our plea and went ahead to join Zainab and Saleh in marriage islamically without the approval of Zainab’s biological parents. When the Anchau Divisional Police Headquarters were about to intervene in the matter, they were called and warned from the office of the Village Head to remove their hands on the matter or face the consequence, that the matter is a religious matter. That was how the Divisional Police Office of Anchau also withdrew from the matter and left Zainab’s parents in pain and our team stranded.

After understanding the terrain of the situation and how everybody is supporting a crime that is punishable by law, we prayerfully and courageously went ahead to champion other ways we can get this Daughter of Zion freed and reunited back to her aggrieved family.
After two months of intense battle both spiritually and physically, constant threats and our undying determination, the God, Yahweh that we serve showed up on our behalf and all knees bowed. He crowned our feeble efforts with success and wiped the tears of His Children and gave us Zainab back to His Praise and Glory Only, with the help of the National Human Right Commission Kaduna office and the Kaduna State Police Headquarters.

The condition at which we got Zainab back is not a totally hopeless one, but so much harm has been done on her. At the moment, she needs a complete attention and rehabilitation of her mind, body and spirit. She suffered so many abuses as a wife to her kidnapper.
While she is undergoing a medical treatment, mental and spiritual rehabilitation, we covet the prayers and support of all our friends and partners from around the world.

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