100 girls wedding: Minister of Women Affairs petitions IGP, Court

Olabode AfurewajuMay 16, 20242 min

Sarkindaji, speaker of the Niger state House of Assembly, announced last week that he would sponsor the wedding of 100 girls, some of whom were orphaned by insurgency.

The Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, has petitioned the inspector-general of police (IGP) and seeks a court injunction to halt the marriage of 100 girls in Niger state.

Abdulmalik Sarkindaji, who is the speaker of the Niger state House of Assembly, announced last week that he would sponsor the wedding of 100 girls, some of whom were orphaned by insurgency, as part of his Maringa constituency project.

The speaker said he had procured materials for the May 24 event and promised to pay the bridegrooms’ dowries.

Following the outcry that trailed the announcement, the speaker explained that he was only financing the wedding and not forcing the girls into marriage.

Reacting to the development, the Minister said the plan is unacceptable and that the future of the girls should be a priority.

Speaking to journalists in Abuja on Monday, May 14, the minister said a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the issue would be carried out. She said the ministry would take responsibility for girls’ education and vocational training.

“I want to let the honourable speaker of the house in Niger state know that this is totally unacceptable by the Federal Ministry Of Women Affairs and by the government. Because there is something called the Child’s Rights Act, which I said from the onset, that is no more business as usual. These children must be considered, their future must be considered, and 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 a petition to the Inspector General of police. I have filed for an injunction to stop him from whatever he is planning to do on the 24th until a thorough investigation is carried out on those girls to find out whether they gave their consent, their ages, and the people marrying them.”

Olabode Afurewaju

Graduate of political science and international relations with a passion for public relations, He aims to support all current frameworks that promote development and the integrity of democratic processes through discussion and advocacy.

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