The police have arrested an Abuja-based self-styled Islamic cleric, Baba Abdul, who facilitated the abduction of a teenage Igbo girl, Ifesinachi Ani, from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Abdul’s arrest comes on the heels of the news of the sinister activities of a band of syndicate abductors who specialize in luring Christian teenagers and minors from the southern parts of the country to the north where they would be married off and forced to embrace Islam.
Investigations by The AUTHORITY revealed that Baba Abdul has confessed to the crime and is helping the police in their investigations.
Our source disclosed that Abdul has equally confessed that contrary to reports that the abducted 14-year-old Ifesinachi was in Maiduguri, Borno State, she was actually taken to Zaria in Kaduna State.
Efforts to get the FCT Command Police Spokesman, DSP Anjurin Manza, to comment on the latest development proved abortive as his telephone lines could not be reached. But a source at the Force Headquarters confirmed that Abdul has been arrested and was helping the police in their investigations.
The source said: “Yes, he is with us. I don’t know the issue of asking a widow to bring money for logistics but, we really lack money to carry out investigations generally and this has been one area the media should help the police get the National Assembly to vote enough money for police operations,” the source stated.
The AUTHORITY on Sunday had exclusively reported that the abducted Senior Secondary School (SSS 2) student of Apo Resettlement Secondary School in FCT, told her mother via a short message (SMS) a few days after she was whisked out of Abuja to Maiduguri, Borno State.
It was learnt that the major hindrance to investigations on the Ifesinachi’s case is Investigating Police Officers (IPOs) request from the widow, who is a mother of four, Mrs. Ani, to cough out money to take care of their logistics to Zaria in Kaduna State to pick Baba Abdul’s collaborators and rescue the teenager.
Although Ifesinachi’s mother was afraid to speak out on this issue because she was warned never again to make such allegations, some of her sympathisers, who are aware of her plight, confirmed the issue of some investigating police officers (IPOs) demanding money for the Zaria trip.
They also said had the Apo Resettlement Police Station acted immediately they got the report from the widow, Ifesinachi would have since been traced and reunited with her family.
Ifesinachi’s mother confirmed that she used the same telephone line to call her daughter’s abductors, who merely told her that she was in good health, has been converted to Islam and had been enrolled in an undisclosed Islamic school where they paid N35,000.
She also disclosed that her child’s abductors gave her the link through which she discovered the pictures of her daughter in hijab, posted on the internet as proof that they meant every word of what they told her. Mrs. Ani said she was devastated on confirming that the pictures, which we published yesterday, were actually those of her daughter.
The AUTHORITY also called the same telephone line (08060598215) which is registered in the name of Ngozi Yellow Osegbere, and a female voice who spoke Igbo, Hausa, Fulani, Kanuri and Beriberi languages responded.
She wondered why the reporter detailed to speak with her appeared ignorant about the reward of converting people of other religions to Islam, since he claimed he was one. Our encounter with the woman was reproduced in yesterday’s edition of The AUTHORITY on Sunday.
Following tabs on the group, it was discovered that there exists several such syndicates operating in several parts of Nigeria, especially in the southern parts of the country. They carry out similar assignment: abducting teenagers, moving them to the north and converting them to Islam.
It was also discovered that their “pay masters” are being funded by fanatical Muslims groups from the Middle East, especially in Iran. They have already built cells in all the states in the South East and South-South geopolitical zones and are gradually spreading to the South West.
Sources informed The AUTHORITY that since there are many Muslims in the South West, the zone posed no serious problem except Lagos, Ekiti, Oyo and Ondo states, where there are high numbers of Christians.
The sources stated that: “It is for this reason that they moved into the South East, South-South and the FCT. They are responsible for the growing number of missing children in these places.
“These people also assist the Fulani cattle herdsmen by making available their militant owing to attack and destroy any community and adjourning villages, where the herdsmen report they are being denied access to whatever they wanted, including the right to allow their cattle and sheep freely feed on farmlands, rape women without any hindrance and the right to harvest farm produce at will.”
“Ifesinachi’s abductors, being one of such groups, are also supported by others scattered in different parts of the FCT and adjourning towns.
Some members of their youth wing hawk sundry items and pretend to be beggars along the streets of the FCT.
“These same people have also converted most neighbourhood mosques to residential abodes, heightening insecurity in such places since the residents dare not ask for their identities or ask them to leave” said the source.