Igbo monarchs, PFN, human rights activist want Emir, accomplices arrested
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As reactions continued to trail the abduction, conversion to Islam and probable marriage of Miss Ifesinachi Ani, by Muslim syndicates, Igbo monarchs have called for the immediate arrest of all those fingered in the criminal act.
The position was conveyed yesterday by the Chairman of Southeast Traditional Rulers Council and the traditional ruler of Mgboko Ngwa Amaise Autonomous Community in Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia State, HRM Eze Eberechi Dick, in an interview with The AUTHORITY on Sunday.
The royal fathers strongly condemned the act and warned that the peaceful disposition of Ndigbo should not be taken for weakness or cowardice.
The monarchs called on President Muhammadu Buhari and law enforcement agencies to rise to the occasion and ensure they rescue Ifesinachi from her wicked abductors.
They also called on President Buhari to give protection and sense of belonging to innocent girls, who are victims of forced marriages which, according to them, should not be allowed in the modern age.
The royal fathers equally tasked the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Solomon Arase, to immediately invite the fingered controversial Emir from the Northwest to explain his role(s) in the saga, and to be prosecuted if found culpable, stressing that enough is enough.
Similarly, the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), has strongly condemned the incident and expressed worry over the current wave of abduction of young Christian girls who are later converted to Islam and married off to Muslims against their will.
The Chairman of PFN, Abia State Chapter, Rev. Dr. Theophilus Anyimpson, while reacting to Ifesinachi’s abduction, raised the alarm over what they dubbed plots by Muslims to decimate Christianity in Nigeria through forceful conversion and marriage.
He however said that, “nobody, religion or authority can succeed in eradicating Christianity in Nigeria because the Church is deeply rooted on a strong foundation – Jesus Christ.
“We know that Muslims are always looking for a way to wipe out Christianity in Nigeria and dominate everywhere but they cannot succeed. Nobody can be a threat to Christianity. Nobody, no matter how highly connected, can succeed in eradicating Christianity.
“Some emperors and world leaders tried it in the past but failed. So, nobody can try it and succeed. We are ready to defend our faith to the end and God is with us”.
The PFN boss, therefore, called for the immediate arrest and investigation of all those fingered in the abduction of Ifesinachi irrespective of their status, contending that the act remains criminal and evil.
“Marriage is by consent and not by force”, he said, adding that “even the consent of the parents must be sought and obtained”.
Also adding his voice, an Umuahia-based human rights activist and constitutional lawyer, Dr. Anthony Agbazure, has volunteered to render free legal services to ensure Ifesinachi gets justice.
He expressed surprise that an Emir fingered in the saga is yet to be arrested, and called on the IGP to immediately order for the arrest of the said Emir for interrogation and prosecution.
Agbazuere vowed to mobilise other lawyers and human rights activists both nationally and internationally, to get justice for Ifesinachi and other victims of “criminal abduction, forceful conversion and marriage against their volition to end the ugly trend”.
He also called on Nigerians irrespective of their religion or tribe to be united in the crusade against forced marriage which he described as “criminal and inhuman”.