The Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), Nigeria Office and the Du Merci Children Development Ministry, in Kaduna have taken their case to God in prayers over the continued detention of the co-proprietor of the Du Merci orphanage home, Prof. Solomon Tarfa in Kano prisons.
The advocacy campaign and prayer was organized by the Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), Nigeria at the ECWA Gospel Church, Barnawa, Kaduna.
The Du Merci Development Ministry operates orphanage homes in Kaduna and Kano States.
Professor Tarfa and his wife, Mrs Mercy Tarfa opened the Du Merci Orphanage in 1996 to care for abandoned children in the Christian District of Sabon Gari, Kano. The centre provides accommodation for all children brought to the home as well as accommodate young women who are pregnant out of wedlock, until they give birth, reconciling them whenever possible with parents who had rejected them due to social stigma.
It is alleged that the Kano state government had clamped down on the orphanage, accusing its operators of conspiracy and abduction of minors.
But while addressing the congregation, the Chief Operating Officer of CSW, Agera Teman, expressed concern over the apparent persecution of the proprietor, who has been in detention for over two months.
She said the CSW would not cease praying for Christian(s) under persecution and noted that if Prof Tarfa would not get justice from man, he would get it (justice) from God.
She prayed that God would intervene for Tarfa and other children in the orphanage home currently being held at various government – owned homes under dangerous and unfavourable conditions.
On her part, wife of the proprietor, Mercy Tarfa, during the prayer service, went down memory lane on how her husband was arrested by officials of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the police and has been in custody since December 25, 2019 till date.
Speaking with journalists shortly after the Church service, Mrs Tarfa said the police and NAPTIP officials invaded their home and arrested her husband like a “hardened criminal.”
Mrs Tarfa further said; “My husband was arrested and detained since December 25, 2019. He is at the Kano Central prison located behind the Emir’s palace in Kano.
“For over two months and some days now, it was only last week Monday that I was allowed to see him because they told us that it was an order that only his lawyers should be allowed access to him.
“The way the police and NAPTIP officials invaded our home, it was like they were out to arrest a hardened criminal. The police alone were about 30 and all of them, had guns. The children were scared. He was charged to court on the 29 of December, since that time it was one adjournment or the other. They have refused him bail.”
In a message of lamentation, the children of (the) Orphanage through Samuel G. Tarfa, said; “We in Du Merci Orphanage have experienced the crude hands of injustice in a country that is said to be democratic, while our father, Professor Tarfa was initially held for not having a licence to operate an orphanage, the charges were subsequently changed to ‘criminal abduction of minors’ after his wife, our Mother, Mrs Mercy Solomon Tarfa, produced the requisite documentation proving registration.
“Our father, Professor Tarfa and his wife, Mrs Mercy Tarfa, opened the Du Merci Orphanage in 1996 to care for abandoned children in the Christian District of Sabon Gari, Kano. The centre provides accommodation for all children brought to the home, we view them as parents and are educated and cared for us until we are able to live successful independent lives.
“They accommodate young women who are pregnant out of wedlock, until they give birth, reconciling them whenever possible with their parents who had rejected them due to social stigma.
“Our parents have spent 28 years of their lives providing the best for every child, depriving themselves of the luxury of this world, never taking any vacation trip outside the country, never bought a house of their own nor lived in separate apartments like most orphanage proprietors do.”
“Please all (well-meaning) people around the world, we are calling on you to come to our aid and help stop this menace on our home. We want to be united back with our family. School has resumed and the children taken away from the home are left doing nothing”.