Proposed Marriage Of 100 Girls; Speaker Makes U-turn After Threat From Minister

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The wedding for 100 orphan girls, slated to take place in Mariga Local govt Area, a constituency to, Abdulamlik Sarkindaji, the speaker of the Niger State House of Assembly has been called off. The decision was reached after, Uju Ohannaya, the Minister of Women’s Affairs, who took legal action against the speaker to halt the wedding by approaching the Inspector General of Police, IGP, to stop the speaker. Recall, the speaker recently announced his plans to marry-off 100 orphaned girls from his LGS, who lost their parents due to banditry attacks in Mariga local government area as part of his constituency project on May 24. 


He announced that the gesture is “aimed at alleviating the suffering of the impoverished”, pledging to pay the dowries for the bridegrooms and have procured materials for the mass marriage. 

Sarkindaji assured them that their comfort in their matrimonial homes had been arranged, just as it would be for any other child marrying according to Islamic traditions. 

However, there was a twist when the information filtered to the minister of women Affair in Abuja who saw the move from a different perspective. 

While briefing newsmen in Abuja, the Minister described the plans as “unacceptable” emphasising that a full-scale investigation has to be conducted into the matter. 

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

“Because there is something called the Child’s Right 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 police. 

”And I have filed for 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. 

While emphasising on the need to ensure girl-child education and empowerment is one of the cardinal directions of this administration, the Minister insisted it was not a priority. 

She instead advised that the speaker should have think about empowering these women or sending them to school or giving them some kind of training support financially instead of throwing them into bondage that they might not be prepared for. 

Meanwhile, the Minister said, “The Women Affairs have 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 a 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. 

She emphasised within the Child Rights Act, every child belongs to the state, and hence the rights of every child must be protected from harm, violence or anything that will infringe on their rights. 

The wedding for 100 orphan girls, slated to take place in Mariga Local govt Area, a constituency to, Abdulamlik Sarkindaji, the speaker of the Niger State House of Assembly has been called off. 

The decision was reached after, Uju Ohannaya, the Minister of Women’s Affairs, who took legal action against the speaker to halt the wedding by approaching the Inspector General of Police, IGP, to stop the speaker. 

Recall, the speaker recently announced his plans to marry-off 100 orphaned girls from his LGS, who lost their parents due to banditry attacks in Mariga local government area as part of his constituency project on May 24. 

He announced that the gesture is “aimed at alleviating the suffering of the impoverished”, pledging to pay the dowries for the bridegrooms and have procured materials for the mass marriage. 

Sarkindaji assured them that their comfort in their matrimonial homes had been arranged, just as it would be for any other child marrying according to Islamic traditions. 

However, there was a twist when the information filtered to the minister of women Affair in Abuja who saw the move from a different perspective. 

While briefing newsmen in Abuja, the Minister described the plans as “unacceptable” emphasising that a full-scale investigation has to be conducted into the matter. 

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

“Because there is something called the Child’s Right 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 police. 

”And I have filed for 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. 

While emphasising on the need to ensure girl-child education and empowerment is one of the cardinal directions of this administration, the Minister insisted it was not a priority. 

She instead advised that the speaker should have think about empowering these women or sending them to school or giving them some kind of training support financially instead of throwing them into bondage that they might not be prepared for. 

Meanwhile, the Minister said, “The Women Affairs have 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 a 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. 

She emphasised within the Child Rights Act, every child belongs to the state, and hence the rights of every child must be protected from harm, violence or anything that will infringe on their rights.