Originally published in World Watch Monitor
A Nigerian university student who converted from Islam to Christianity has been arrested by state security forces, as has the man who introduced her to Christianity.
Nabila Umar Sanda, 19, is a student at Bingham University in Karu, in the central state of Nasarawa, which is owned by one of Nigeria’s major churches – Evangelical Church Winning All, or ECWA. It was while studying there that she became friends with Simput Dafup, a 33-year-old Christian, who, once she expressed an interest in Christianity, invited her to meet a local church leader, Jeremiah Datim.
Speaking to the press in Jos, capital of neighbouring Plateau state, Datim explained that after the young woman decided to become a Christian, he immediately made contact with the local Islamic organisation, as has become customary.
“Knowing the sensitive nature of conversion from lslam to Christianity, and given that between the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Jama’atu Nasril lslam (JNI) … there is a working understanding, or protocol, that 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 other religion from which the convert is coming, I immediately contacted the leadership of JNI in the state and informed them that I had one Miss Nabila Umar Sanda in my possession and that she had converted to Christianity,” he said.
Datim then went to meet a JNI leader, who made contact with Ms Sanda’s parents. Later that day, Monday 8 January, Datim said detectives from the Department of State Security Services “stormed my house, assaulted my wife, daughter and eight-month-old baby, and took Nabila away”.
Her friend, Simput Dafup, was arrested that same day, and both are still being held in an unknown location.