An Islamic group, ‘Jama’atu Izalatil Bidah wa Iqamatis Sunnah’, JIBWIS, has warned those dragging the name of the Emir of Katsina, Alhaji Abdulmumuni Usman, into the controversy generated by the marriage between Habiba Isiyaku, the 14-year-old girl who was allegedly converted to Islam and forced into marriage by her alleged abductor, Jamilu Lawal.
The Katsina State branch of the group, on Wednesday, clarified that the royal father had nothing to do with the ‘forceful’ marriage.
Recall that the Emir of Katsina, Abdulmumini Usman had been accused of marrying off Habiba to her kidnapper, although, he dismissed the allegation, saying the girl had indicated interest in the marriage.
Habiba had also dismissed the claims of her forceful marriage, saying that she changed her religion and got married of her own volition.
The Islamic group spoke at a press conference in the state, claiming to have proof that Habiba was born on July 20, 1999, as against the purported date of May 15, 2001, being given as her date of birth.
The group, which spoke through its chairman, Sheikh Yakubu Hassan, said, “In Islam, it is an act of infidelity to force one to a religion. The constitution of the country is, however, in support of any Nigerian who decides to adopt a faith on his or her own wish.
“The allegations recently made by Christian leaders in the state that the Emir of Katsina forcefully converted an underage Christian girl, Habiba Isiyaku, to Islam and then married her, is an insult to Muslims and a deliberate attempt to pollute the peaceful atmosphere that the community enjoys in the state.
“JIBWIS has all the evidence that Habiba is an adult and was neither forced to become Muslim nor to marry Lawal.
“The emir as a father to all Muslims in the emirate only endorsed the marriage of Habiba to a young man she chose for herself, and that is one of the functions of Muslim leaders in Islam.
“It will therefore be a mistake for Christian leaders in the state to connive with outside forces in trading false allegations against such leaders,” the religious group stated.
Meanwhile, Habiba’s her father, Tanko Isiyaku, had said he wants his daughter returned a virgin, and the state Police Command had on Monday, ordered the girl to return to her parent’s house, saying at her age, she was too young to take any decision on religion and marriage