The Oasis Reporters
December 14, 2020
A Missionary, Prof. Solomon Tarfa, who was arrested from his orphanage in Nigeria on Christmas Day in 2019 and kept in detention since then has been released.
His major offence is suspected to be running an orphanage in the largely muslim belt of the country with one of the worst and growing indices of abandoned children, he being a Christian.
Prof. Tarfa’s release last week came two days after the United States Government designated Nigeria a Country of Particular Concern for religious persecution.
A statement by the US-Nigeria Law Group, said that Tarfa spent almost a year in detention, adding that Human rights advocates had written to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom to classify him a Prisoner of Conscience following his persecution as a Christian missionary serving orphans especially after his wife and lawyer met with a USCIRF Commissioner during a private visit to Nigeria this year.
The US-Nigeria Law Group’s statement which was signed by Emmanuel Ogebe, explained that shortly before his release, the Nigerian President replaced the Christian head of NAPTIP Dr. Julie Okah-Donli with a Muslim after it appeared that she resisted the use of the agency for the unconstitutional persecution of persons.
Ogebe said that the National Agency for the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons was used to arrest Prof Tarfa amongst others, adding that Dr Okah-Donli is believed to have been retaliated against for insisting on fairness and accountability to global partners and human rights practices in these matters.
Ogebe explained that the legal team of Prof Tarfa had insisted that he is still facing trial on bogus charges and was only released on bail.
According to Ogebe; “The Kano state government carted away the orphans to a worse setting while the Kaduna state government demolished his Du Mercy orphanage home while he was in prison.
“The detention of Prof Tarfa received attention in the UK where it came before members of the House of Lords.
“It is unfortunate that Kano State which freed the killers of a Deeper Life pastor’s wife Mrs Bridget, which deported street urchins after using them for under age voting has detained a kindhearted humanitarian for his generosity to the vulnerable”.
Kano State in northern Nigeria is notorious for the large number of street children, born and thrown into the streets, some as from three years old to fend for themselves by begging and living on the streets at the mercy of environmental elements.
Between 8 to 10 million vulnerable children in especially Northern Nigeria are believed to be out-of-school who remain a formidable feedstock for Islamist extremist groups and disruptive militias that has turned the region into one of the worst insecure belts in the globe.
Kidnapping and sale of victims as sex slaves and possible suicide bomb victims is believed to be rife in the region where education is propagated by extremist groups as forbidden. This has worsened the condition of women and children in northern Nigeria.
The latest school to experience a mass abduction of children is Government Science Secondary School, Kankara in President Muhammadu Buhari’s home State of Nigeria.