Some leaders of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the north held a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa in Abuja on Thursday.
Addressing state house correspondents after the meeting, Yakubu Pam, chairman of the northern zone of CAN, said they pleaded with the president to intervene in the issue of the abduction of underage Christian girls for marriage.
“We came to present ourselves as the northern CAN chapter to the president and to tell him some of the challenges that northern Christians are passing through,” he said.
“One of those challenges is the issue of girl child abduction in the north. In some northern states, some young girls and children are being abducted at the age of 12, and the parents will just hear that the girls have been married to traditional rulers and emirs.
“We are also having difficulties in expressing our faith in the northern part of the country. We have also told him some of the difficulties we are passing through with the Fulani herdsmen.
“The farmers need to be protected and in fact, we told the president that we have been encouraging our youths to go into farming and they need to be protected and when they come into the city, there is no employment; that is why farmers must be protected.
“”This is gathering a cloud of crisis already and if that is not taken care of it will lead to a serious crisis. These are the issues we told the president.”
Pam said the president promised to look into their complaints.
The issue of forceful abduction of underage has sparked criticisms across the country.
The recent instances were that of 15-year-old Ese Orururu, who was abducted from Bayelsa and taken to Kano, where she was said to have been forced to convert to Islam.
Another was that of Habiba Isiyaku, a 14-year-old, who was allegedly abducted by an official of AbdulMumin Usman, emir of Katsina, and later married off.
While Oruru regained freedom after a strong advocacy, Isiyaku is still in the custody of her alleged captors, who claimed that she willingly converted to Islam.