#FreeEse – Girl 13 reportedly kidnapped and forced into marriage

Ese Oruru

Photo Credit: The Nation

Ese Oruru was abducted in August 2015 by one Yinusa, who was a longstanding customer of her mother, Mrs. Rose Oruru, a food vendor in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.

Yinusa subsequently took Ese, who was 13 years old at the time, to Kano where she was allegedly converted to Islam and forcefully married.

Since August 12 when her parents made the shocking discovery, trips to Kano, the involvement of the police and efforts to get the Emir of Kano, Mallam Lamido Sanusi, at whose palace the girl is believed to be held to resolve the matter and ensure the return of the 14-year-old to her parents have been resisted by those responsible for the abduction.

While her mother was told that Ese had converted to Islam and, therefore, was no longer her daughter, her father was told that his daughter was an 18-year-old adult and not 14, hence she was capable of making decisions for herself.

Several media houses have joined the campaign to help free Ese. Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, former minister of finance Obi Ezekwesili as well as the governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Hajia Aishat Al-Hassan have also shown interest in Ese’s case, demanding her immediate release.

Sen Jummai Alhassan (@JummaiAlhassan) who is also the Minister of Women Affairs condemned the abduction saying “as I have mentioned earlier, Ese Oruru’s separation from her parents and purported marriage in Kano is against the Child Rights Act #FreeEse”

Senator Ben Murray-Bruce has also called on the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, to free Ese Oruru and ensure her return to her parents.

“IGP Arase, Ese is a minor and can’t consent to marry. The Constitution is clear. Your duty is to ensure her release to her parents #FreeEse,” Murray Bruce tweeted.

Murray-Bruce, who noted that the Nigerian Constitution “respects no person”, criticised Arase for saying that the 14-year-old’s release was delayed due to the Emir of Kano’s Hajj trip.

Arase had told The PUNCH on Sunday that the help of the Emir, at whose palace, Ese was allegedly being held was needed to free Ese.

You can join the campaign online using the tweeter hashtag #FreeEse . You can also use the hashtag to see developments on the case.


Read additional reports on ThePunch

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