Maryam Isa, an orphan based in Keke Community of Kaduna Millennium, has been in a relationship with her boyfriend, Aliyu Jibril, for months, hoping to marry him someday.
Maryam lived under the care of her mother’s elder sister and grandmother after losing her biological mother years back. Her family struggled financially.
As the relationship between Maryam and Aliyu grew stronger, her family became uncomfortable when Aliyu failed to send his family members for a marriage talk, as requested by Maryam’s family.
Maryam’s family asked Aliyu to pay N20,000 as part of the money to indicate interest in marrying Maryam, following the Hausa tradition. However, Aliyu couldn’t provide the N20,000.
After about 30 days without a response from Aliyu and his family, Maryam’s parents asked him to stop dating her, as they believed he was not capable of marrying her. Despite objections from their families, the lovers continued to meet secretly.
Maryam’s relatives suggested that since Aliyu couldn’t afford to marry her, he should step aside for other suitors.
To intervene and find a solution, the matter was taken to the Danbushiya village head’s palace. The village head invited both families for a discussion. Aliyu expressed his love for Maryam but couldn’t provide the requested amount.
Realizing the situation, the village head cautioned Aliyu to leave Maryam alone. However, the lovers persisted in their relationship, leading the palace to report the matter to the Millennium Police Station for official intervention.
The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) Lawan Abdullahi provided a permanent solution by interviewing both lovers and their families. Both Maryam and Aliyu expressed their willingness to marry each other, despite financial constraints.
He (DPO) further asked of the young man’s character and both parents confirmed he was of good behaviour and hardworking but his only challenge was the lack of money to pay the dowry as requested by the girl’s family.
His parents were also not financially able to support the wedding preparation at that moment.
Upon hearing Aliyu’s predicament, the DPO generously decided to contribute N53,000 as part of the dowry, agreeing with the families that Aliyu could marry Maryam if he provided N51,000 as the remaining dowry amount.
The DPO’s gesture garnered attention, and after news of the dowry payment went viral within the small community, other little donations poured in to support the couple.
Hafsat Abdullahi, the bride’s mother’s elder sister, expressed her happiness and gratitude for the DPO’s assistance, praising his kind-heartedness.
“We only took the matter to the police station for the lovers to be separated since he (groom) cannot afford to pay the dowry only for the DPO to intervene. This made us happy,” she said.
Maryam Isa, the bride, also expressed her happiness and gratitude for the DPO’s intervention, in making it possible for her to marry the love of her life.
The wedding Fatiha was conducted at the palace of the village head on 19th July 2023, a day after the dowry was paid, with some imams within the community in attendance.
He’s a blessing to us – Community leaders
The Village head of Danbushiya community, Malam Muktar Haruna, who officiated the wedding, described the DPO as a blessing to the community.
He praised the DPO for his efforts in finding solutions to domestic violence and ensuring the safety of residents.
The community further commended the DPO for engaging in community policing, building trust between the community and the police.
He explained that since he (DPO) came to the community less than two months ago, security has improved in the Millennium City area as they now have an Armoured Personal Carrier (APC) vehicle, donated by the State Commissioner of Police, M.Y. Garba, patrolling the area.
He also mentioned a recent incident where a woman sought for divorce at the police station because her husband failed to provide a ram to be slaughtered during the naming ceremony of their newborn baby. The DPO, out of courtesy, provided a ram for the woman to save the marriage from collapsing.
Corroborating the Village Head, Umaru Yakubu – who serves as the Secretary at the palace of the village head, stated that they have never seen a police officer using his money to assist poor members of society.
“Everybody was surprised to see a policeman removing such an amount to pay for dowry for people that are not related to him. This is commendable,” he added.
He explained that the community is now peaceful and the couple too are living happily following the DPO’s intervention.
Another resident of Danbushiya, Ibrahim Maiturare, also described the DPO as a good man. He said the DPO hardly collects money as bail for minor offenses, as he made it clear that bail is free for such cases.
“Since the man came to the station, people are happy even though he doesn’t condone criminal cases brought to the station, he handles such professionally by taking the suspects to court within the period stipulated by law,” he said.
He noted that the DPO stopped his men from harassing innocent residents at the police station and within the community.
Efforts to speak with the DPO about his generous acts were unsuccessful as he declined to comment.
But the State Police Command Public Relations officer, DSP Mohammed Jalige, equally described CSP Lawan as a hardworking and nice officer who always promotes the community policing strategies of the police force in the community.
He also described him as an advocate of due process and operationally sound, adding that “we must commend his efforts for what he has been doing in the community.”