Minister of Women Affairs Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye Takes Action Against Niger State Speaker’s Plan to Marry Off 100 Orphaned Girls Following Condemnation by Take It Back Movement

In response to strong condemnation from the Take It Back Movement, Minister of Women Affairs Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye has initiated legal action to prevent Speaker Abdulmalik Sarkindaji of the Niger State House of Assembly from carrying out his controversial plan to marry off 100 orphaned girls.

She petitioned the Inspector General of Police and sought a court injunction to halt the planned mass marriage.

The young women, who tragically lost their parents in banditry attacks that have plagued Mariga Local Government Area, were reportedly set to be married off as part of Speaker Sarkindaji’s constituency project.

Speaker Sarkindaji also made it known that it is a means to alleviate their suffering. He even pledged to cover the dowries for the brides and had procured materials for the event.

Following Sarkindaji’s announcement, the Take It Back Movement swiftly condemned the initiative through a statement signed by Omolola Pedro, the head of the movement’s Gender department. Pedro emphasized that such an act is “unacceptable,” as it raises concerns about the well-being and rights of the vulnerable young women involved.

The movement launched a full-scale investigation into the matter, demonstrating their commitment to holding government officials accountable and advocating for the protection of vulnerable populations in Nigeria.

The statement partly read: “it is worrisome that girl children who have lost their parents to banditry in the state are about to be “empowered” by being married off like some tubers of yam. Mr. Speaker has some explanations to do, about his definition of empowerment.

“One would expect that the Niger state government will compensate these girls on the unfortunate loss of their parents, leaving them to live lives alone, a result of the incompetence of the government in tackling insecurity, by providing them with education and opportunities capable of turning their lives around, but rather chose the easy way out to marry them off, a very insensitive, and careless decision.”

The controversy surrounding the Speaker’s plan has brought to light the importance of safeguarding the well-being of orphans and other vulnerable individuals in Nigeria. As the situation continues to unfold, the action taken by the movement will be crucial in determining the outcome and setting a precedent for the protection of vulnerable populations in the country.


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