Sheikh Aminu Ibrahim Daurawa is the Commander General of the Kano State Hisbah Board. In this interview ADAM ALQALI, he provides new perspective to the Ese Ururu saga
What do you know about the alleged abduction of Ese Oruru by Yunusa Dahira and his bringing her from Bayelsa to Kano?
I think there is no better source of knowing what actually transpired between the boy (Yunusa) and the girl (Ese) like the horse’s mouth. I mean, what the boy and the girl themselves said, since we all saw them together. The boy is not just a native of Kura in Kano but was living in the girls’ hometown (Yenagoa) where he was working as a water vendor and riding Keke Napep.
So, he is well known to both the mother and father of the girl and the girl also knows him very well. And even before he brought the girl here, I understand they were discussing marriage with the girl; her mother had even collected some money from him concerning the marriage. So, it was when he realized that the parents will not marry off the girl to him that he eloped with her to Kano.
In another version of the story, it was even the girl that requested that they ran away to Kano, and that she also paid her transport fair to Kano herself. And when they arrived in Kano, his parents, who had warned him about bringing the girl home, took the girl to the village head who forwarded the case to Hisbah. Her parents severally came to Kura to see her; not once, not twice and not three times. They were also here in Hisbah not once, not twice and not three times.
So, we held meetings with the parents of the girl and the parents of the boy where we discussed all that should be discussed concerning the future of the girl and the girl’s parents requested to go home with their daughter. We asked them to take her but she refused to follow them. This shows that the girl and her parents were aware of the situation of the girl after she arrived in Kano.
Therefore, we were really surprised when it was later alleged the girl was forcefully abducted and kept here in Kano. The issue was politicized and ethnic and religious sentiments also crept in to the issue. And, above all, since there was disagreement about her actual age as her mother said she was 14 years old, while her father claimed she was 17, this girl was asked to go to court and swear an affidavit about her age.
If truly she was abducted why were her parents coming to Kano to persuade her to follow them back to Bayelsa for months? Why didn’t they report to the police when they initially came instead they were trying to persuade her to follow them.
Moreover, why was it that when they came to take this girl away they had to forcefully take her away. The video was all over the Internet showing how she was taken away and why were the parents collecting money from the boy in the name of they wanted to marry her to him?
Was there ever any marriage between Yunusa and Ese? Did you marry the two of them?
We are not aware of any marriage between them. We didn’t contract any such marriage, if we were the ones who contracted such a marriage we would have announced it and issued them with a marriage certificate. All I know is that we were discussing the issue of the marriage. So, if such a marriage has been contracted somewhere else I can’t say.
Does Islam allow the marriage of a spinster without the knowledge of her parents?
That can only be done when the parents refuse to marry off the girl to her suitor and in a situation where a non-Muslim girl converts to Islam, the powers to give her hand out in marriage lies with the court.
It is also alleged that Ese was forcefully converted to Islam. Is that so?
There is no need for a Muslim to force any one to accept Islam. We are over 1.5 billion Muslims in the world. So, why must we forcefully convert her to Islam? What value will someone like her bring to Islam? She is the one that will benefit from her conversion to Islam. And how many non-Muslim Bayelsa indigenes are living Kano for years? Why they were not forced to convert to Islam? This just shows how much the issue has been politicized and ethnic and religious sentiments have crept into it.
For long, Hausa-Fulani Muslims have been converting to Christianity yet they continue to live here and likewise southerners have been coming here to convert to Islam and continue to live peacefully. So, this is normal and is not something new. I can tell you that today there are Kano indigenes that are bishops and they are living here in Kano and no one is bothered about them.
If you go to Sumaila, Tudun Wada and Garko local government areas of Kano State there are significant number of Christians who are Kano indigenes. In fact, when we conducted mass wedding for widows we involved Kano indigenes who are Christians in the program. We paid for their dowries, furnished their homes and we provided sets of clothes to them, among others. Why didn’t we ask them to convert to Islam first?
Secondly, the reason why I said the issue was politicized is why were high profile Nigerian security officers involved in the issue. This kind of issues are common, there are always people going to the South to convert to Christianity and others coming to the North to accept Islam. Why did such issues never generate such media attention?
Why is the entire furore about the girl’s issue happening when Buhari was visiting Saudi Arabia and he was seen in the Holy Ka’aba for which some people were alleging Buhari wants to Islamise Nigeria? This issue is coming up now to stir up religious sentiment in the country. When Jonathan was going to Israel and worshipping, why didn’t we (Muslims) say he was trying to turn Nigeria to a Christian or Jewish state?
How many non-Muslim Bayelsans are living in Kano, and own properties including churches here. Just recently, the Kano State government invited about 165 churches based here in Kano as well as 200 Muslim clerics to the government house where the Christian clergy delivered lectures on peaceful coexistence and the government gave them a huge amount of money, in order to ensure peaceful coexistence among the inhabitants of Kano State.
So, we think Nigerians should stop hiding under certain issues just to promote their political, religious and ethnic interests. Whoever is interested in coming into the religion of Islam they are welcome but whoever is not interested must not be compelled to join Islam; and if they are compelled to do so their Islamic identity is not valid because Allah has categorically said in the Quran that: “There is no compulsion in religion.”
There are allegations that Ese was hidden in the palace of the Emir of Kano. Is that true?
I cannot speak on behalf of the Emir of Kano since I am not authorized to speak on his behalf. I can only speak on what I know, as it relates to Hisbah.