….The conversion was consensual, Says Pastor
Yakubu Busari, Jos
A 70 year-old widow, Mrs. Lydia Dafup on Friday cry out to President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the release of his son whom she said was arrested by men suspected to be from the State Security Services (SSS).
Mama Lydia told journalists in at a press conference on Friday that her son, Simput Dafup, an engineer was “whisked away in the early hours of Monday, assaulted, brutalised and dehumanised for his alleged role in the conversion of one Miss Nabila Umar Sanda Galadima from Islam to Christianity.”
While struggling to read her text, Mrs. Dafup said they “blocked everywhere and assaulted everybody including passersby who were not speared from their hands.”
She said,”as I address you now, I don’t know the whereabouts of my son and nobody has sighted him either or contacted me including any member of the family as to his condition. l am worried about the safety of my son. Help me to trace where my son is please,” she sobbed during the press conference. When she was asked how she knew his son’s abductors were men of the SSS, she gave way to a man who turned out to be a pastor of a church
The man, Rev. Jerry Datim who alleged that his wife, a nursing mother, was stripped naked during the abduction said it was the men of SSS and threatened to sue them if the widow’s son was not released to the church in the next two weeks. Dafup is a member of his church.
Narrating his ordeal, Mr. Datim whose wife, daughter and 8 months old grand daughter were allegedly assaulted and detained during the raid, told journalists in Jos that neither he, Mr. Dafup or anyone else who had come in contact with the converted Muslim girl was guilty of any crime.
He explained that Nabila’s conversion was an exercise in freewill and demanded an apology for the molestation of his wife and children.
He said, “Miss Nabila got admitted into Bingham University located in Abuja and given the nature of the activities in the university, she became interested in the Christian faith and when eventually she got across to Simput Dafup and expressed her desire to join the Christian faith, Dafup asked her quite a number of questions bothering on whether her parents would accept her conversion.
“Miss Nabila having schooled at the Air Force Girls Comprehensive School in Jos, found her way to Jos and traced Engineer Dafup.
“Upon tracing him and he, aware of the sensitive nature of what Miss Nabila was about going into, quickly contacted me, Evangelist Jerry Datim, because, according to Engineer Dafup, he believed I was in a better position to handle the situation.
“Upon listening to Engineer Dafup, I requested him to take Miss Nabila to my office.
“After I met Miss Nabila for the first time in my life, I interacted with her and asked her a lot of questions about both the Christian faith and Islamic faith. Nabila clearly had made up her mind to join the Christian faith and was willing to be a Christian no matter what obstacles were placed on her way.
“Sensing what conversion from Islam to Christianity is and given that between the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Plateau State Chapter and the Jama’atu Nasrul lslam (JNI) there is a working understanding or protocol where such issues or situations arise relating to any of the two religions, the leaders of the affected religion should contact the leadership of the adherent of the other religion from which the convert is coming from.
“Based on this understanding, I immediately contacted the leadership of JNl, Plateau State Chapter and informed them that I had one Miss Nabila Umar Sanda in my possession and that she had converted to Christianity.
“l sought to have audience with the leadership of the JNl and which they obliged me. l went to the office of the JNI along with others. I narrated everything that Nabila had told me.
“The leadership of JNl, obtained the phone number of both her father and mother. They contacted her parents and her father said he was traveling but that he was going to inform his relations from Biu to come to Jos with the view to hearing for themselves what JNI had to say about the conversion of Miss Nabila.
“It was at this point and on the same day Monday the 8th of January, 2018, while still sorting things out with the JNI that detectives from the Department of State Security Services (DSS) stormed my house, beat up and/or assaulted my wife, daughter and eight months old baby and picked Nabila from my house.”
Mr. Datim challenged the Department of the State Security Services to produce Nabila and put her and him side by side “so they can ask her if she was forcefully converted to Christianity or abducted or brainwashed.
“She is of age. Let her speak for herself on this matter, let the whole world hear her,” he thundered.
As at the time of filing this report, efforts that were made to get comments from the DSS, JNI and Nabila’s father proved abortive.