Marriage Of 100 Girls: We Give You Seven Days Ultimatum – Niger Imams Dares Minister Of Women Affairs

1715840106 images 12

Various Islamic groups have given the Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy Ohanenye, a seven-day ultimatum to withdraw her statement against the Speaker of the Niger State House of Assembly, Abdulmalik Sarkindaji or face legal action.

Recall that Ohanenye had threatened to take legal action against the speaker over plans to sponsor the marriage of over 100 girls in his constituency in Mariga Local Government Area.

The girls in question are those who had lost their parents to banditry and also those whose parents could not afford to foot their marriage expenses.

However, the Minister of Women Affairs claimed that the girls were being married off against their will.

Speaking on the development after rising from its meeting in Minna, the Niger State Imam Forum and other heads of Islamic organisations, in their resolution, described the minister’s action as blackmail and issued a seven-day ultimatum to her to withdraw her statement on the issue and apologise or face legal action.

The Director General of the Niger State Religious Affairs, Umar Farouk, who gave the ultimatum, insisted that the minister has overstepped her limits and must withdraw her statement of blackmail against the speaker and religious leaders on the matter.

According to him: “The 24th May 2024 date of the wedding remains sacrosanct, as the Imam Forum, in conjunction with the parents of the brides, will go ahead with the ceremony. The Niger State Speaker, Abdulmalik Sarkindaji, has done his part of the donation to ensure the success of the marriage of the 100 orphan women.”

The forum called on President Bola Tinubu to sack the minister from his cabinet for alleged incompetence as well as an attempt to cause religious disharmony in Niger State and Nigeria.

The minister should also withdraw her statement of blackmail against the speaker, religious leaders and the entire state for saying the women are underage.

“The planned marriage has the blessing of all the religious and traditional leaders from the area. The sponsor of the marriage consulted widely before accepting the responsibility and we are strongly behind him.

“The girls are not underage and they are not being forced into marriage, as the minister has made the public believe. This is what the minister failed to investigate,” Farouk stated.

Calling on philanthropists, well-to-do individuals and politicians to emulate Niger State Speaker Abdulmalik Sarkindaji, Farouk added that the girls are between the ages of 18 and 25, including widows, hence, there is no forced marriage, as six procedures were strictly followed for the selection of the beneficiaries.