From Abdullahi Hassan, Zaria
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Zaria Branch, has condemned the recurrent abduction, forceful conversion and marrying- off an under aged Christians girls by some people in the state.
Last year , a teenage Christian girl was forcefully converted to another religion and got her married to a young man without the consent of the her parent, later father drag the them to Sabon Gari area Court in Zaria.
The group’s chairman, Rev. Abau M. Gadzma, stated this at the Grand final 2017 Universal week of Prayer with Theme: Lord Send Help Again, on Sunday in Zaria.
“ It is becoming so alarming the rate at which under aged Christian girls are abducted , focefull converted and are married off without parental consent’’.
According him, the act is contrary to 1999 constitution as amended and the panel code of Kaduna state which defines that any one less than 18 years of aged as minor and her parents must be consented before get her married.
However, the Association expressed dismay over denial of Christians rights to build Churches in some part of the states noting that the action was contrary to section 38 of the 1999 constitution that guarantee freedom of religious and worship’.
“How do we enjoy this religious freedom when we do not have places of worship,’’ Association said.
CAN maintained that every Nigerian ought to be treated equally especially when issues of faith , worship and religion are involved“ Nigeria belong to all of us whether Yoruba, Hausa, igbo, Christian or Muslims’’.
The chairman also described treatment of Christians in some institution of higher learning in the state as sad and undesirable “Christians are given admission but treated like foreigners befitting a gesture in a Foreign land’’.
On the Kaduna state 2016 controversial Religious Bill, CAN said the bill has violated section 38 of the 1999 constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria.
“For any attempt to infringe on people rights to worship may be breach distrust , fear and may be seen as intimidation’’. chairman said.
Speaking on Southern Kaduna crises, Association Chairman said since the state governor had paid compensation to Fulani headsmen to stop destroying lives and property in the area, there was need for state government to announced the names of the beneficiaries who faulted to end the killings of innocent lives.
However, the Association hailed the federal government effort to revamp economy, and fights against Corruption“ We call federal government to draw up implementable practical and realistic economic policies that will pull us out of economic recession ; cushion hard core realities of job losses, unemployment , depreciation ‘’.