The Minister of Women Affairs, Hajia Aishat Al-Hassan has condemned the abduction and forced child marriage of a 13 year old girl, Ese Oruru.
Ese was allegedly kidnapped by one Yunusa in Opolo, Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, in August, 2015 and renamed her Aishat on arriving Kano state.
The Minister and governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) made this known on twitter handle on Monday.
Her words: “Our laws are very clear on the case. Ese Oruru is 14 and as such cannot consent to marriage. Any such union she’s in is illegal.
“I have been in touch with the police authorities in Kano over Ese’s immediate release to her parents and we are making progress.
“I can assure you that I will use all my powers and influence as a Minister and woman to secure the release and return of Ese Oruru.
“Ese is still a child under our laws, and her right to freedom of movement is subject to parental control. She must be returned.
“Child Rights Act says no person under 18 is capable of contracting a valid marriage, and a marriage so contracted is null and void.
“The Act also clearly states that anyone who marries a child is liable to a fine of N500,000 or 5 years imprisonment or both.
“No culture, religion or personal conviction supersedes the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Ese Oruru must return home.
“My ministry is on this case and we will ensure full prosecution of anyone who is found to have contravened the law.”
The Minister further noted that Ese’s case has brought to the fore the need to protect the rights of children and women in our society, stressing that her ministry will not relent.
“I assure you all that Ese Oruru will be released & reunited with her parents without further delay. All hands are on deck for this,” she maintained.