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Allow marriage of 100 Niger orphans, MURIC tells minister

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has urged the Minister for Women Affairs and Social Development, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, to withdraw the litigation and petition she wrote…

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has urged the Minister for Women Affairs and Social Development, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, to withdraw the litigation and petition she wrote to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), over the proposed sponsor of the marriage of 100 orphaned girls in Niger State.

The Chairman, Kano State Chapter of MURIC, Malam Hassan Sani Indabawa, who made the call on Thursday night in a statement, urged Nigerians to learn to respect one another’s culture and traditions.

He recalled that the marriage arrangement in question was sponsored by the Speaker of the Niger State House of Assembly, Hon Abdulmalik Sarkin-Daji, with the event slated to take place on May 24, 2024.

 The minister on Monday said she had approached a court of law to stop the speaker of the Niger State House of Assembly from marrying off 100 prospective brides and that she had also petitioned the IGP over the Sarkin-Daji’s plan.

 “We found the harsh and hasty decision taken by the Honourable Minister for Women Affairs over a matter that is entirely beyond the scope of her ministry.

“The minister’s attempt at media demonisation of marrying off of 100 poor and orphaned girls, who were largely traumatised for losing both parents to brutal and bloody banditry and insurgency, exposed her ignorance to the culture and traditions of the Muslim North.

“This elaborate media blitz, over the matter, MURIC observed, was deliberately done to sway public opinion against the marriage institution, and an attempt to vilify Sarkin-Daji, after demonstrating his genuine concern for the needs of members of his constituency,” Indabawa said.

He also recalled that the speaker had explained that he announced plans to support orphaned girls, especially victims of banditry attacks following an appeal by religious and traditional leaders from his constituency.

Hon. Sarkin-Daji also said he was surprised at the way the minister tried to smear his name and reputation without any background check or even calling him as a leader, to hear his own side of the story.

Indabawa said since her appointment as women affairs minister, she has become famous for some weird public statements, including being seen on TV recently suggesting that children can be engaged in tooth pick, sanitary pads production, thereby promoting child labour which she is supposed to condemn by virtue of her position.

He said, “We, at MURIC, therefore, categorically and unequivocally call on minister Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye to immediately withdraw the purported legal case she has filed and equally withdraw the petition she had written to the IGP to avoid an imminent embarrassment because, in this matter, no law has been breached and no coercion was ever to be established.”


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