A Kaduna-based socio-cultural group known as Northern Consensus Movement on Monday brokered a peace meeting between the Katsina State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria and DA’AWAH, the Islamic body at the centre of the conversion and marriage of a teenager, Habiba Isyaku.
She was allegedly married off to one Jamilu Lawal, which resulted in public outcry.
The Katsina CAN insisted at the meeting that all it wanted was Habiba’s return to her parents.
The NCM has consequently urged the two groups to reach an amicable solution on the issue.
At the meeting, which took place at Magaji Garin centre, opposite the Emir of Katsina’s palace, were DA’AWAH’s representatives – Mallam Ashafa Ashafa, Mallam Muntari Tsagem, Mallam Muhammed Muharazu and Mallam Husaini Yar’Adua.
CAN’s representatives at the meeting were led by its state chairman, Very Reverend Nelson Onyekachukwu; Tunde Fadaisi (treasurer), Monday Ebene and Adeyanju Adeyinka.
The NCM team was led by Dr. Auwal Aliyu, while its other members at the meeting included Musa Idris, Mallam Isiak Yusuf and Muhammad Saulawa.
The NCM team told both the CAN and the DA’AWAH group that its mission in Katsina was to ensure that Habiba’s issue did not negatively affect the existing cordial relationship between Muslims and Christians in the state .
The team declared that it was in Katsina Stae to correct the misinterpretation of facts alleging that the Emir of Katsina, Dr. Abdumumini Usman, was involved in the issue.
Both the CAN and the DA’AWAH group agreed that the emir was not behind the conversion of Habiba to Muslim and her subsequent marriage to Jamilu.
The Katsina CAN chairman, however, maintained that the organisation and the Christians in the state maintain their stand that Habiba remained a Christian and should be returned to her parents.
Onyekachukwu, who spoke on behalf of CAN declared, “We still maintain our stand. Habiba is still tender and should return to her parents. It is a pity; we didn’t know that this meeting will take place this evening, we would have invited Habiba’s father here.
“You only need to listen to him last week when the commissioner for religious affairs invited us for a meeting. The man said a lot. This issue is a very minor one; once Habiba is returned to her parents, the case is closed.”