Father of teenager forced into marriage in Katsina says he wants his daughter returned as virgin

The news of the 14-year-old girl, Habiba Isiyaku, who was allegedly forced to marry one Jamilu Lawal, who kidnapped her in Katsina state, has continued to stir up controversies as her father, Tanko Isiyaku, has said he wants his daughter returned a virgin.

Recall that the Emir of Katsina, Abdulmumini Usman has been accused of marrying off Habiba to her kidnapper, although, he dismissed the allegation, saying the girl had indicated her interest in the marriage.

Habiba had also dismissed the claims of her forceful marriage, saying that she changed her religion and married in her own volition.

While her father insisted that the Emir forced his daughter to get married, he said Habiba must be returned a virgin, exactly the way she was before her abduction.

In a chat with the Punch, the 70-year-old said, “I did not marry her off to him, she was forced into marrying Lawal who lives close to us in the community.

“Honestly, I don’t think there was an affair between him and your daughter.

“Before she was taken away, I did not notice any change in my daughter’s behaviour especially her religious beliefs. There was no such thing. She did not change in any way, not even in her religion. She is a very dedicated Christian who believes in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

Isiyaku pleaded with the government to help bring back his daughter.

He said, “I want President Muhammadu Buhari to assist me to get my daughter back. I desire nothing more.

“The Katsina State commissioner of police tried. He spoke strongly about the matter, telling them to give me back my daughter because she is a minor and still under her parents. He told them to allow her to go.

“I want her to remain as she was before she was forcefully taken away from us. My daughter was a virgin before her abduction to the emir’s palace.

“God will take control. I really do not know what to say as I am very disturbed at the moment. I pray she is not pregnant. She is still a small child. Before my daughter was taken away, she was a virgin but I do not know what is happening now. I want them to return my daughter to me as a virgin. That is what I want.

On his plans to get his daughter back since he did not give her out in marriage to Lawal or anybody, Isiyaku said, “I was forced to sign a prepared form. I would not have allowed them to take her away from me. I was forced.

“I have never seen any case of abduction of young female children and forceful marriage in my community. This is why I am very disturbed.I really want the Federal Government to support me because if they leave this battle for me, I won’t be able to do anything.

“I was in the palace on the day the Kaora Katsina on behalf of the Katsina Emirate Council asked my daughter whether she was forcefully converted to Islam, whether the emirate council or any other person forced her into the marriage and whether she was already menstruating at the time she met Lawal.

“She answered yes to the questions. When they asked her to stand up and follow me, she refused saying she would not follow me. I believe that my daughter was charmed. The way I saw her that day was not the way my daughter was. She has never disobeyed me.

“I was threatened and molested when I went to the palace on that day. I faced serious threat, they even wanted to beat and mob me, even though five people accompanied me there.”

Asked if he wrote the emirate council to apologise for any embarrassment he might have caused it on the issue of his daughter, the father of eight said, “No. I was given a prepared form. I was only told to sign on it and with a threat that if I did not do so, they would kill me.

“And by the way, my family did not receive any money, precisely N50,000, as the alleged bride price for her forceful marriage to Lawal.

“It is a lie from the pit of hell,” the septuagenarian added.


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