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FG petitions IGP as Niger Speaker plans to marry off 100 girls

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The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs. Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, has taken action against the Speaker of the Niger State House of Assembly, Abdulmalik Sarkindaji, over his plans to marry off 100 orphaned girls in the state.

Sarkindaji had announced the initiative to marry off the girls who had lost their parents to banditry attacks in Mariga Local Government Area as part of his constituency project.

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In response, Mrs. Kennedy-Ohanenye petitioned the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and sought a court injunction to halt the planned mass marriage ceremony.

“I want to let the honorable speaker of the house in Niger State know that this is totally unacceptable by the Federal Minister of Women Affairs and by the government, totally unacceptable,” she emphasized during a briefing in Abuja.

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Kennedy-Ohanenye stressed the importance of considering the rights and future of the orphaned girls, citing the Child’s Right Act.

“I have gone to court. I have written him a letter and written a petition to the IG of police. And 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,” she stated.

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The minister highlighted the need to determine whether the girls gave their consent and ascertain their ages before proceeding with the mass marriage.

The planned event, scheduled for May 24 in Bangi, the headquarters of Mariga Local Government Area, has drawn attention and concern from various quarters, prompting the intervention of the federal government and law enforcement agencies.

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