Monday, March 14, 2016

Northern Christians Warn Emirs Against Child Marriages

Christians in the 19 northern states and Abuja under the aegis of the Northern States Christian Association of Nigeria have warned emirs in the region against forcefully engaging minors into marriage.

Rev. Yakubu Pam gave the warning shortly after his election as the new Chairman of Northern CAN in Kaduna on Friday. Pam took over from Archbishop Peter Jatau as the new Chairman of the more than 40-year-old association.

The new chairman, while addressing journalists, said it was the belief of the Christian body that it was high time traditional rulers in the region, especially, those who harbour Christian minors in their palaces stopped such act.

Pam said, “Another issue that came up for deliberation today is the kidnapping of our daughters. Historically, the issue has been on ground. We suffer this here in the northern Nigeria.

“The church is really concerned and we are pleading with the government to put every leadership on the alert, particularly our traditional leaders and security agencies, so that they can control such an ugly issue that has been taken place here in the North.

“These are the two things that we really discussed and people were really happy with the new executive of the association.”

The leadership of the association also faulted Nigeria’s membership of the Coalition of Islamic Countries against terrorism.

Pam specifically stated that Christian leaders needed to be assured by the Federal Government that innocent Nigerian Christians will not be victims should ISIS terrorists attack Nigeria for being a member of the coalition.

He asked if Nigeria had the capacity to fight back like other members.

Pam also charged security operatives to live up to their expectation of protecting lives and property of Christians in the north.

The new chairman expressed concerns over the killings in parts of Nassarawa and Benue states, as well as other areas dominated by Christians in the region.

Northern Christians, he said, called on the federal and state governments to be proactive in tackling the crises, while charging security agencies to take their responsibilities seriously.

On his part, newly elected Public Relations Officer of the association and former Secretary-General of the Kaduna State chapter of CAN, Rev. Joseph Hayab, noted that Ese Oruru’s case is one of numerous cases in the region.

He said, “Church leaders expressed concern because reports reaching us from different states show that innocent underage Christian minors  have been  kept  in different palaces under the guise that they will change their faith and  to be married out without  the consent of their  parents.

“The church leaders are saying government must be up to their responsibilities in tackling the issues without playing politics with them. We are saying, government wake up and live up to expectation.”

Culled from naija247news.com

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