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Minister Knocks Speaker Over Planned Marriages For 100 Orphaned Girls In Niger | Citizen NewsNG

ByCitizen NewsNG

May 14, 2024

Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye

 

By Tanko Lami

 

 

The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, has condemned the move by the Speaker of the Niger State House of Assembly, Abdulmalik Sarkindaji, aimed at marrying off 100 orphaned girls on May 24.

The minister, has also petitioned the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, and sought a court injunction to stop the speaker from carrying out such unacceptable project.

Kennedy-Ohanenye, while addressing newsmen in Abuja described the project as “unacceptable” emphasising that every child future should be considered, and full investigation has begun on the girls.

The minister said every child in the country should protected from harm, violence or anything that will infringe on their rights according to the Child Rights Act.

She said, “I want to let the honourable speaker of the house in Niger states know that this is unacceptable by the Federal Minister Of Women Affairs and by the government.

“Because there is something called the Child’s Rights Act and I said it from the onset, that is no more business as usual.

“These children must be considered, their future must be considered, the future of the children to come out of their marriage must be considered.

“So I have gone to court. I have written him a letter and written a petition to the IG of the police.

”And I have filed for an injunction to stop him from whatever he is planning to do on the 24th until a thorough investigation is carried out on those girls, find out whether they gave their consent, their ages, find out the people marrying them,” she said.

The minister, highlighted that the girl-child must be empowered educationally and financially, added that, “As the speaker did not think about empowering these women or sending them to school or giving them some kind of training support financially.”

“The ministry has decided to take it up and we are going to educate the children.

“Those that do not want to go to school, we will train them in skill, empower them with sustainable empowerment machines to enable that child build his or her life and make up her mind who and when to get married.

” If for any reason the Speaker tries to do contrary to what I have just mentioned there will be a serious legal battle between him and the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs,” she said.

Recall, the Speaker intended to marry off the orphaned girls, who lost their parents due to banditry attacks in the Mariga local government area as part of his constituency project on May 24.

The project which he described as a method “aimed at alleviating the suffering of the impoverished”.

He also stated that he would settle the bridegrooms dowries payment and materials needed to carryout the project successfully.

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