Group Exonerates Emir Over Habiba’s Marriage, Islam Conversion
By John Femi Adi:
Group under umbrella of Northern People’s Unity ,Reconciliation and Development Union said it agreed at a meeting with concerned parties that the Emir of Katsina , His Royal Highness ,Alhaji Abdulmumini Kabiru Usman was not behind the conversion of Habiba to Islam and her subsequent marriage to Jamilu Lawal.
According to the group, His Royal Highness, the Emir of Katsina, Alhaji Abdulmumini Kabir Usman was misrepresented and wrongly accused by many, especially the Punch Newspapers and the social media critics in this romantic mellow drama.
Speaking at a press conference held in Kaduna , the National Chairman of group, Dr. Auwal Abdullahi Aliyu , said
“Jamilu lawal is not an aide to the Emir and never worked in the palace. we demand an unreserved apology from The punch Newspapers regarding the malicious allegation made against the Emir of Katsina ,Alhaji Abdulmumini Kabiru Usman and Jamilu Lawal. ”
Read full statement of :
PRESS CONFERENCE BY THE NORTHERN PEOPLES UNITY, RECONCILIATION AND DEVELOPMENT UNION ON THE CONTROVERSY GENERATED BY AN ALLEGED RELIGIOUS CONVERSION AND FORCEFUL MARRIAGE OF HABIBA ISIYAKU IN KATSINA, NORTHWEST NIGERIA.
Gentlemen of the press, it’s with a great sense of humility and desire for a truly united and harmonious Nigeria that we address you today on an issue that generated so much controversy in recent times.
As a group, the Northern Peoples Unity, Reconciliation and Development Union which is non political, non religious and non profit making among others. We felt silence shall no longer be golden if we remain aloof and allow the Nigerian public and indeed , the world over to continuously been fed by fictitious, fabricated and half truth stories with a deliberate intent to mislead the general public.
After a careful study of the remote and immediate factors that led to the controversial marriage between Malam Jamilu and Habiba Isiyaku, we the Northern Peoples Unity, Reconciliation and Development Union, after an emergency meeting in Kaduna, reached a resolution to form a committee and wade into the matter.
The sole aim was to forestall the escalation of the matter. We visited Katsina and dug to the roots, sat and deliberated with relevant stakeholders from the two religious divides on the issue and our findings were sadly, a bag full of disappointments.
So, on the 31st October, 2016 the committee arrived Katsina, led by my humble self, Dr. Auwal Abdullahi Aliyu as Chairman, Engr. Musa Idris as secretary, Malam Ishaq Yusuf and Alhaji Muhammad Saulawa from our Katsina office.
We organized a peace meeting which took place at the Magajin Gari’s office, opposite the Emir’s palace, and in attendance were the Muslim Da’awa group represented by Malam Ashafa, Malam Muntari Tsagem, Malam Muhammadu Maharazu and Malam Hussaini Yar’adua.
While CAN’s representatives at the meeting was led by the state chairman, Very Reverend Nelson Oyekachuku,Tunde Fadaisi, Monday Ebene and Adeyanju Adeyinka.
The media was fully represented at the meeting including The punch correspondent , Mr. Olaide Oyelude, BBC and VOA etc. Gentlemen of the press, it was agreed at that meeting by the parties that the Emir was not behind the conversion of Habiba
to Islam and her subsequent marriage to Jamilu Lawal.
Before we go any further, we wish to at this juncture, express categorically that his royal highness, the Emir of Katsina Alhaji Abdulmumini Kabir Usman was misrepresented and wrongly accused by many, especially the Punch News papers and the social media critics in this romantic mellow drama. For instance, on the 14th of October 2016, the Punch newspapers in a highly sensationalized front page sub lead,”Katsina Emir’s marriage to 14 -year old irreversible -Council”, it quoted the emirate council as saying and referred readers to page 4 and 5.
Quote: “The family of Isiyaku Tanko of Wawar kaza community in Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State on Wednesday alleged that Usman forcefully abducted their 14 year old daughter and forced her into marrying him. She was said to have been abducted on 16th August, 2016, by one Jamilu Lawal, an aid of the Emir, who worked in the palace. She was converted to Islam and held incommunicado”. End of quote. What a contradiction!!!
The Punch newspapers which was expected to apologize and retract the story as agreed in the meeting of 31st October, 2016 in order to exonerate the emir of katsina, and Jamilu lawal which it claimed was an aid of the Emir and worked in the palace, never did, rather ironically, in its edition of 2nd November, 2016, did not give the story the prominence it deserved because the editors buried the story in an obscure part of page 20 of the paper.
Jamilu lawal is not an aid to the emir and never worked in the palace. we demand an unreserved apology from The punch Newspapers regarding the malicious allegation made against the Emir of katsina Alhaji Abdulmumini Kabiru Usman and Jamilu Lawal.
According to the said report, Habiba was abducted in August 2016 from her school and the action was supported by the emirate council. The report said N50,000 bride price was collected on behalf of Habiba’s parents. The Punch further said the father, Isiyaku Tanko lodged a formal complaint with the Commissioner of Police, Alh. Aminu Aliyu Abdullahhi who “merely advised the girl to return to her parents, convinced that she ” willingly ” embraced Islam and left her parents’ home without anybody’s prompting.
Charity, it is said, begins at home, but in the case of Habiba’s father, Mr. Isiyaku Tanko, we kept wondering in whose interest he was doing what he did.
AIT on its part, in its kakaki program edition of 20th and 21st October, 2016 featured Habiba’s father, Mr. Isiyaku Tanko who maligned and denigrated not only the Emir of Katsina, but the entire Northern leadership and unless he retracted his salvos and apologize, we would have no option than to seek legal redress.
The Punch Newspapers who indicated it was the Emir who “abducted Habiba, converted her to Islam and married her against her parents’ wish, should bury their head in shame and apologize to the general public. The fact behind this matter is that a group under the garb of a religious cover, had in their craze to perfect an agenda, blew the Habiba story out of proportion and in the process, committed acts that can best be described as unwholesome by a jurist.
Furthermore, contrary to a wide spread allegation by the CAN Chairman in Katsina state, in collaboration with The Punch News Papers Katsina corresponded Mr.Olaiyede Oyelude, an agreement reached between Habiba’s father and the emirate council in September 2016, had it that ” the Emirate council received the complaint brought before it by the Commissioner of Police Katsina state, regarding the conversion to Islam of one Habiba Isyaku of Kankara Local Government Area.”
The agreement by the parties was that “there was an alleged complaint which was brought before the emirate council by the commissioner of police to the effect that one Jamilu Lawal kidnapped Isiyaku Tanko’s daughter Habiba and converted her to Islam.Habiba affirmed before the Emir of Katsina and his council that the matter brought before the council by the commissioner of police is not true.
She was further asked if she would like to go back to her parent, she says no. She was then advised to dignify and respect her parents. Mr. Isiyaku Tanko, Habiba’s father asked the council to forgive him for the allegations he made against the Emir and Jamilu Lawal, as the allegations were not true. The agreement was reached before the Kilishin Katsina, Malam Ashafa of Da’awah group, Malam Haliru Adamu Da’awa group, Isah Baba, Emirate Council Police and Habiba Isiyaku. The document which was writing in Hausa was signed by the respondent, Mr. Isiyaku
Tanko Wawar-kaza, Kankara Local Government.
The emirate council then advised the Muslim Da’awah Group to go and do all things necessary to arrange marriage for Habiba to anybody she finds suitable as her husband. Habiba was married to Jamilu Lawal on the 30th of September, 2016 according to the marriage certificate signed by Imam Aminu Usman.
Gentlemen of the press, we heard it from Habiba’s mother that her husband Mr. Isiyaku Tanko actually converted her from Islam to Christianity before marrying her and that all her family members were Muslims. What an irony!!!
For the records, Habiba was born on the 20th of July, 1999 according to the National Population Commission record in our possession. Sadly, the records were distorted in another birth certificate they obtained from the Katsina State Hospital Services Management Board General Hospita, Kankara that Habiba was born on the 15th of October, 2001.
It’s so disheartening that in a bid to distort information and blackmail the Emirate Council and the Northern Leadership and to further perpetrate their heinous act, they had access to Habiba’s first school enrollment register and criminally altered her year of enrollment with intent to deceive an unsuspecting public.
But in the actual register of her enrollment, the year of her birth was 20th July, 1999 which did not tally with the doctored 2001date of birth they wanted the public to believe. In the register of Habiba’s JSS 3 enrollment in our possession, it was also criminally altered to deceive the public.
We would like to call on the media to tread with caution on such and any other sensitive matter, not to allow some people with a sinister motive to use the media in achieving its goal of further dividing the people.
We shall avail all journalists here present with photocopies of the documents that were altered with the intent to deceive and continue to cause confusion to the general public.
Dr. Auwal Abdullahi Aliyu and Engr. Musa Idris :
National Chairman & National Secretary