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Saturday, 5 March 2016

#Ese: Hausa Youths Lure Our Little Girls With Food, Cash - Lagos Parents, Landlords.

Some parents in Lagos have expressed concern over the threat allegedly posed by male residents of Hausa extraction to their young girls following the Ese Oruru saga.
They alleged that young Hausa traders have been luring young girls of other ethnic extractions with financial and material gifts into amorous relationships.
Fourteen-year-old Ese was this week returned to her parents in Bayelsa after she was allegedly abducted by one Yunusa Yellow in August 2015 and taken to Kano in northern Nigeria.


Yunusa had planned to marry the underage girl in his home state after she was converted to Islam.
Residents of host communities with large populations of people of northern extraction in Lagos such as Mile 12 and Ijora have bitter tales about the Hausa/Fulani-Yoruba relations in their areas. An evidence of this played out on Wednesday and Friday in a bloody clash between Yoruba and Hausa residents.
At Mile 12 market area in Lagos, which has a large population of Hausa, residents expressed concern over the threat many of the young men from Northern Nigeria to their young girls and women.
A salon owner in the market, who identified herself as Iya Bidemi, said some of the young girls were being lured by the Hausa men for marriage without the consent of the girls’ parents and guardians.
She said many of the men in the practice take advantage of the naivety of some of the girls to exploit them for sexual gains.
The hairdresser said, “There is a lot of child abuse going on in this place, especially by the Hausa men, who do not care about the age of a girl before luring her into a relationship.
“Many of them start by giving these little girls between N500 and N1,000 daily as feeding allowance before going further to buy clothes and expensive gift items for them. These girls are usually between 13 and 16 years old and so can hardly resist this type of care because a lot of them are from poor homes.
“Before you know it, these men will trick the girls to accompany them home for a religious festival and that they would return in less than one week. A lot of them don’t return with these children and after some time, you hear that the girls have ended up getting married to the men.
“It happened to a friend’s younger sister and till today, the girl has not been seen again, not even the young man who was said to have taken her to the North.”
Another market woman, who identified herself as Mrs. Nwabuko, told Saturday PUNCH that she stopped allowing her two young daughters to visit the market after seeing how some of the Hausa traders were harassing them.
She said many of the male Hausa traders were in the habit of sleeping with little girls and that she couldn’t let that happen to any of her young daughters.
“I had to stop my girls from coming to the market when I noticed the way some of these Hausa men were always looking at them,” she said.
“I could see the intention in the eyes of some of them; so to protect the girls, I immediately told them to stay at home after school hours.
“It is not all of the men that are like that, many of them are good. But there are some of them who don’t care about the age of a girl before having sexual relations with them.
“A lot of women have also stopped their girls from coming often to the market because of this issue.”
Residents around the market who also relayed their concern on the development when one of our correspondents visited the community earlier in the week, blamed some parents for actually encouraging their young girls to flirt with these men who lure them with financial handouts and material items such as food stuffs.
An elderly landlord, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said many young girls had indeed been taken away to the North while their helpless parents do little or nothing to protect them.
He said, “The Hausa men are hard working, but what I don’t like about them is how they treat our young girls. They lure them with cash; bribe their poor parents with food stuff before taking the girls to the North to marry them.
“I wonder how any man can be comfortable sleeping with little girls that they are old enough to give birth to. As parents, what we can do is to properly teach our children but we cannot do anything if any girl falls for their ploy.”
According to findings by Saturday PUNCH, young girls at the market community are usually taken to the leader of the Hausa for sanction if they refuse the sexual advances of any man who had been spending money on them or eventually refuses to marry them after benefitting from them financially and materially.
Such girls, if proven to have indeed benefitted financially and materially from the men, are asked to either refund everything or give in to the men’s demand. On some occasions, such girls are locked up in a room with the man for him to satisfy himself sexually as compensation for all he had spent on her, it was discovered during the visit of one of our correspondents.
It was also learnt that some ladies and young girls in some areas of Lagos with significant population of Hausa men avoid leaving their homes at night for fear of rape or sexual molestation.
At 7-Up area of Ijora, Lagos, some female residents told one of our correspondents that they have learnt to be wary of some of the northern youths.
Nofisat Alebiosu, 17, a hairdressing apprentice in the area, expressed her frustration, when asked about her opinion on the way some northern youths have been relating with girls and young women in the area.
She said, “In December, one of my neighbours’ daughters was raped by two Hausa boys. How do you think we would see them?
“Some of them are very honest, especially, those who have homes around here. But those who just hang around, coming and going without any particular abode, are very dangerous. I avoid some streets here where Hausa youths live when it is dark. I don’t want to be molested.”
A girl, who identified herself as Bisola, told Saturday PUNCH that one of their neighbours, who was from Jigawa State, was ejected last year because the young man was touching her inappropriately.
She said, “I always complained to my mother because he was fond of touching me jokingly and saying ‘hope you will follow me to Jigawa.’ I was going to school one morning and he jokingly lifted up by uniform. I told my mother and she reported him to our landlord. That was why the landlord ejected him from the house.”
Another girl, Bisayo Ahmed, 16, said she did not trust the Northerners in her area, adding that she never knew it was possible for girls of her age group to be abducted and forced into marriage.
“I don’t trust the Hausa men living around our streets,’ she said.
“The way they behave towards young girls shows they can do bad things. I just try to avoid them. I don’t want to be taken away to be molested.”
She explained that she began to distrust some of the Hausa/Fulani boys on her street when she saw two of them laughing and pointing in her direction. She said when she looked in their direction, they grabbed their crotches in a gesture she found disgusting.
One of our correspondents also spoke with a mother who explained that she had always warned her two girls about being around unfamiliar Hausa-Fulani youths in the area, since she heard about the rape, which Alebiosu had referred to earlier.
The woman, a foodstuff trader, who identified herself as Julie, said she had always been wary of molestation of young girls in the area.
She said, “We will be deceiving ourselves if we say that youths from other tribes here don’t try to molest girls. But the problem is that Yoruba youths who do such things are easily caught because they can be identified.
“You cannot identify many of the Hausa youths living here. Some of them don’t have a place where they stay but just hang around their friends. We have heard many such stories of how some of them rape and run away before. But I have not really heard of instances where they take girls secretly to their villages in the North before.”
Another parent told one of our correspondents that if not for effort of leaders of the Hausa community in the area, the molestation perpetrated by northern youths in the area would have escalated.
She explained that even though her own daughter was old enough to take care of herself, she always advised daughters of her neighbours to be careful around northern boys.
She said, “I have seen some of them behave towards young girls here in very bad ways and I have heard about reports of some girls being molested. Parents should just caution their children because these things will always happen because many of these youths come from all over the northern part of the country almost on a daily basis. You don’t know who is who.”
However, residents of Agege area, which also has a large population of people of northern extraction, has good words to say about the way their ‘guests’ have been relating with them.
In Agege, Saturday PUNCH was told that the Hausa/Fulani community had been so integrated in the area that those who perpetrate any little infraction are quickly checked by their leaders.
Chairman of the Markaz Community Development Association, Mr. Kola Amao, said, “We have almost become one. Many of them own houses here and don’t want anything bad to happen to their belongings. So, when one of the youths does anything bad that may cause disaffection between Yoruba residents and Hausa/Fulani neighbours, they are quickly cautioned.”
Markaz has about the highest concentration of Hausa/Fulani residents in Agege.
Amao explained that to ensure that the relations between Yoruba and the Hausa in the area remain cordial, they hold an inter-ethnic meeting every month.
He said, “We have not had any major problem here in the last three years. In fact, things are so cordial between us and the Hausa community that if they have any marriage ceremony, they invite us.”
Executive Director of the Muslim Rights Concern, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, explained that sexual molestation should first be seen as a criminal offence that should not be condoned.
He said, “We must be objective; we should not limit the occurrence of sexual harassment to any particular ethnic group. Even where I live, there are Yoruba and Igbo neighbours who misbehave.
“This is not Hausa land and this is why we cannot look at it as a Hausa problem so that it does not look as if we are prejudiced against a tribe. Anyone who commits a crime should be made to face the wrath of the law.
“Lagos is not a jungle. This is a society of law and order. We as a group will not support anybody who breaks the law. Sexual harassment and molestation is an offence Islam frowns upon.”
A Hausa community leader in Agege, Alhaji Jubril Awwal, was of the same opinion. He told one of our correspondents that there is the tendency for people to accuse Hausa youths of atrocities when people cannot identify the actual criminals.
“I know that some of our boys from the North come here and misbehave but that is not something that is peculiar to Hausa or Fulani people,” he said.
“There are more crimes around here being committed by people of other tribes than by Hausa boys. Our job as community leaders is to put our boys in check and we have been doing that well.”
By Kunle Falayi and Eric Dumo
Source: Punch News