Narrating her ordeal to Leadership, Maryam confirmed that her first encounter with love was with Jarelu Ahmed, who she met 14 years ago. Ahmed was a Muslim and she was a Christian. Because of her love for him, Maryam was willing and resolved to convert to Islam so they can marry without hitches.
While preparing to marry, they crave to know each other carnally overpowered both of them and before you know it Maryam had conceived.
When Maryam realised Jarelu was not willing to settle with her, as he had abandoned her and the baby, she decided to marry another man and this marriage sucessfully prooduced four children.
However, sometimes last month, Maryam decided upon her guardian’s advice. to take her daughter, Hajara to her father’s family as according her; “a girl’s honour lies with her paternal family.” But something unusual and terrible occurred. Jarelu decided to kill his daughter, Hajara at his family home. Jarelu was said to have used rat poisoning to perform the dastardly act.
After killing her, he dug a grave and buried her in his room.Maryam said she had no idea why Jerelu killed his daughter in cold blood.
“I have no idea why he killed my daughter. You see, when Hajara died, she was aged 13 years. since I gave birth to her, he never bought anything for the baby and myself. Before the birth, we agreed that he will take care of everything but up till the time he was arrested, he never took responsibility of anything that had to do with her.”
“Before I conceived Hajara, I was a Christian. when we fell in love, Jarelu said he wants to convert me and I agreed. We dated for over a year and I got pregnant out of wedlock. Since I got pregnant with Hajara, he abandoned me. He was aware of the pregnancy and when I was delivered of the child, I told him and he came and he blessed her. He was even the one that named her Hajara. After that, he left and since then, he deserted us. We did not get marry to each other but 40 days after the birth of Hajara, I converted to Islam.
The bereaved mother told LEADERSHIP FRIDAY that her ex-lover killed her daughter in cold blood.
“Jarelu killed Hajara with rat poison. I learnt that he met his uncle, who serves as a father to him, Chief Imam of Bauchi Bala Baban Inna that he wants to take Hajara to the Emir’s palace to meet their relatives because they are related. His father consented and he came and told the Imam’s wife to get Hajara ready. She was together with other children in their section when her father called her and instead of taking her out of the house, he took her to his quarters.”
Maryam added that when they entered his room;
“ he had already bought the rat poison. He lured her to his room and gave her tea laced with the rat poison. At first, she refused as she told him she had taken her breakfast. He told her he is her father and will not harm her. She accepted the tea and after 2 sips, she started writhing in pain and complaining of stomach pain. He locked the door and left. One of the children, who observed that Jarelu came out of his room without Hajara, went and told her mother what happened.”
She continued that;
“ when the family interrogated him on her whereabouts, he refused to say anything and he was taken to the palace where the Emir ordered for his arrest until he disclose where he took her. It was when he as tortured that he revealed what he did. Already, he had dug a grave at the back of his room to bury her.
Since her demise, no one from his family has come to commiserate with us. This happened over a month ago and she stayed for only 2 days with them and now she is gone.”
Hajara’s death left a very big vacuum in her mother’s heart because she was her pillar and her strength.
“Anytime I remember Hajara’s death I am reduced to tears. Since her death, life has not been easy for me. We had been struggling together through thick and thin in my poverty, we try to make ends meet, we never begged from anybody. She just completed her primary school. I suffered since she was a baby and when she has started helping me, she was brutally taken away from me.”
“Hajara assisted me very well. everybody knows this. You have seen our house and you can see the abject poverty we are living in. Hajara was really helping me. She was working to earn some income for her secondary education. She was washing dishes and sweeping for people. I don’t have to swear to you, but she was to be paid N3,000 for the two months that she had worked. She told me she will do the work so that I can pay for her registration, her books and her uniform. The N3,000 was paid few days after her death.”
Maryam lamented that as a widow, she has no one to help her;
“ I am a widow. My husband died 15 months ago and I have 4 children who are now orphans. I don’t know what drove him to commit this heinous crime against my daughter. I have not been myself since her death. Till date, I have not opened her bag, it is still as she left it I don’t even have the heart to open it, I know my God will fight for me. God will surely vindicate me. I loved my daughter so much, she was very vibrant, taller than myself and was already bustling with life and he just wasted her life.”
“This death is very painful and I will never forgive him for what he did to my daughter. I will not forgive him because he has cheated me but he has cheated only himself” she stated.
Maryam’s guardian, Mallam Garba Noma attributed the killing to Jarelu’s sense of shame considering that Hajara was born out of wedlock.
“I think he probably killed her because she was born out of wedlock, but even if she was illegitimate, why will he kill her when the girl is not in his custody? What was his business with her? He never provided for her needs. Jarelu as far as I am concerned, is an illiterate and doesn’t know the law because if he does, he wont have acted the way he did. if he says he will hide his deeds from the world, the world is already aware of his shameful act.”
“The Chief Imam is an upright man, he knows the law and I know he will stand on the side of justice? Since the sad incidence, the Imam has been very busy and when I met him, he said he will come but he has been busy. He knows we are bereaved but he is more disturbed. Since I know the Imam, even if a chicken enters that house, it will not be killenot to talk of a human being.”
“This case is beyond us. We are poor people and whatever the law stipulates on this case, we will abide by it. I am calling on the relevant authorities to be fair and just in this case. They should be impartial so that this case can be a deterrent to others,”he said.