The founder, Du Merci Orphanage, Kano State, Mrs Mercy Tarfa, has raised the alarm over alleged plan to forcefully convert to Islam 27 children rescued from the home last year.
On December 25, 2019, police and officials of the National Agency for the Prohibition and Trafficking of Persons stormed the orphanage at No. 15 Iroko Avenue, Nomansland, Kano, and arrested one of the owners of the home, Prof Solomon Tarfa.
The law enforcers claimed the orphanage had operated for years without approval, hence they moved the rescued children to Nasarawa Children’s Home owned by the Kano State Government.
In an interview on Saturday, Mercy told Sunday PUNCH that the eldest among the 27 persistently refused to be converted to Islam at the Nasarawa Children’s Home.
She said the whereabouts of four of the children were unknown, while their mobiles were seized.
She said, “Following the persistent refusal of the most senior child from the Home to be converted, it led to a minor fracas in the Nasarawa Children’s Home where they were transferred to since Christmas Day.
“The Women Affairs Commissioner was invited to restore sanity. However, at the close of the day, four most senior of the children were relocated to an unknown destination, while their cell phones were seized.”
Following the development, Mercy has sought the urgent intervention of the leadership of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria and the Christian Association of Nigeria to halt the alleged forceful conversion of the children to Islam.
She noted, ‘’The police and NAPTIP said they rescued the kids from being sold. I am now at a loss as to why kids the police claimed they have rescued are now being forced to be converted to Islam?
“The management of the Nasarawa Home smuggled two women into the Home, who invite the rescued children individually into an office, persuading them to convert to Islam.
‘’If you accept to be converted, you will be offered a wife and a home as an incentive to embrace Islam.”
She also called on the Federal Government to urgently intervene in the matter and ensure the release of her husband in police custody since Christmas Day.