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CLO condemns abduction, conversion, marriage of minor

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THE Bayelsa State chapter of Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) has condemned the reported abduction, forceful marriage and conversion to Islam of a 13 year-old, Miss Ese Oruru, in Kano, Kano State.

An indigene of Delta State, Oru, who lived in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State with her parents, was forcefully taken to Kano State without their consent last year, before being allegedly betrothed and converted.

The Guardian learnt that several attempts by the parents to rescue the teenager, including a number of visits to Kano with policemen from Bayelsa State, were futile.

According to the mother, Mrs. Rose Oruru, who spoke to reporters in Yenagoa, during their last trip to Kano, they visited the monarch’s palace where the Emir, Lamido Sanusi, advised her to seek justice at the sharia court.

She also disclosed that the youngster was in the custody of the monarch during her last trip to the ancient city.
Peeved by the action of the emir, CLO in a communiqué at the end of an emergency meeting signed by its chairman, Nengi James and secretary, Timo Igoli, respectively, said the act was not only barbaric and criminal, but also against all known national and international laws and practices.

The organisation, therefore, called on the Attorney General of the Federation, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Inspector General Police (IGP), National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), National Council of Women Societies (NCWS), International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) and other relevant agencies and institutions to wade into the matter with the view to investigating and bringing the perpetrators to Justice.

“CLO wants to state unequivocally that underage marriage is alien to the people, culture and traditions of the Niger Delta under any guise and therefore CLO will reject such perpetration of crass injustice and desecration of our esteemed values and norms.

“CLO holds the Islamic faith and Kano Emirate Council under the leadership of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi Emir of Kano in high esteem because of his international reputation, as the former Central Bank Governor and we do not believe that this act can or is been perpetrated under his expressed permission and approval.

“Therefore, we call on Sanusi Lamido Sanusi to come out and defend himself and the Kano Emirate Council from this inhuman act as the said abducted teenager is alleged to be in his custody.

“We call on the emirs of who are respected traditional and religious leaders of the North to use their good offices to advance national cohesion and social justice. Hence, they should play the role that will lead to the amicable release of Ese Oru,” the communiqué read in part.

Meanwhile, the abducted 90-year-old Bayelsa monarch, Chief Christian Otobotekere, yesterday regained his freedom after 17days in captive, describing his ordeal in the kidnappers’ den as the “darkest days of his life.”

Otobotekere, the traditional ruler of Tombia Community in Yenagoa Local Council of the state, was kidnapped from his palace in Gbarain Clan.

While speaking with newsmen during the unveiling of the “Mariner,” a journal published by the state chapter of the Association of Nigerian Authors ‎(ANA), the monarch said the experience reawakened him to the involvement of unemployed graduates in violent crimes.



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