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Minister condemns proposed marriage of 100 orphaned girls in Niger State

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Minister condemns proposed marriage of 100 orphaned girls in Niger State

The Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, has taken swift action to halt the planned mass marriage of 100 orphaned girls by the Speaker of the Niger State Assembly, Abdulmalik Sarkindaji.

In advancement of her action, Mrs Kennedy-Ohanenye has petitioned the Inspector General of Police (IGP) as well as sought a court injunction to stop Sarkindaji’s plans, which she deemed “unacceptable.”

The Speaker had announced his intention to marry off the girls, who lost their parents to banditry attacks in the Mariga Local Government Area of the state, as part of his constituency project.

READ ALSO: Niger state speaker cancels sponsorship of 100 girls’ wedding after criticism

He claimed the gesture is aimed at alleviating the suffering of the orphan girls by his offering to pay the bride price and providing materials for the mass marriage.

However, while stating that a thorough investigation has been initiated, Kennedy-Ohanenye strongly condemned the plans adding that, the ministry will ensure the girls’ futures were considered.

According to the Minister, her responses are within the frameworks of the “Child’s Right Act which protects every child from harm, violence, or infringement on their rights.”

Several incidents of orphaned children, boys and girls abound in Niger State and other states in the North-West infested by the plague of banditry.

Governments and communities in the affected areas are grappling with the resulting social, economic impact with some of them opting for the easy solution offered by the marriage of the girls to available suitors under circumstances that can be regarded as, ”forced marriage.”

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