Tuesday, March 1, 2016 5:45 pm
Kano State Government has noted with concern the news of the alleged abduction, forced marriage and conversion to Islam of 14-year old Ese Oruru of Opolo, Yenogoa, Bayelsa State, in August last year by one Yunusa, who is said to be an indigene of Kano State.
According to a statement by Malam Muhammad Garba, Commissioner for Information, Youth, Sports and Culture Kano State today, the government said that more worrying and disturbing is the inappropriate handling of the issue by the authorities concerned, including the police and the Department of State Services. Government particularly mentioned the directive and request by the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, that the girl be taken back to Yenogoa and handed over to her parents immediately, since that fateful August when the matter was brought to his attention.
In view of the gravity of the allegation, the need to protect the rights of minors on matters of faith and marriage as well as promote unity and peaceful coexistence among all Nigerians particularly in the face of incorrect, misleading and grossly skewed misrepresentation of the issue and the comments it generated in the mainstream and social media, the government of Kano State, for the purpose of setting the record straight, declares that:
“The issue was handled with dispatch competently, courageously and with all sense of concern by His Highness, the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, since August last year when the case was brought to his attention by ordering that the girl, Ese Oruru, who has never ever been kept under his custody in the Palace, be taken back to her parents in Yenogoa in liaison with the office of the AIG Zone One, Nigeria Police Force. He however expressed deep concern, during a recent press briefing, that his directive was not handled accordingly and therefore ordered that an investigation immediately commence on why the directive was not complied with by the office of the AIG.
The issue was never at any point in time brought to the attention of the State Government by any authority, group or person involved in any capacity in the issue, but only knew of it in the media.
The State Government condemned in its entirety the actions of the alleged abductor as it is against the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and teachings of Islam which abhor abduction, forced marriage even with the consent of parents of a girl be her a minor or adult, and forced conversion to Islam as the Quran categorically states that ‘there is no compulsion in religion’.
Security and other relevant agencies should expedite action to bring the suspect(s) to book and be dealt with according to the law;
Condemned any statement by any person, group or organization linking Kano State Government with the alleged abduction, forced marriage and conversion to Islam of the girl. Such unfounded, untrue, misguided and mischievous allegations being circulated in the mainstream and social media platforms are only meant to discredit and tarnish the good image of Kano State Government, its people and the personality of His Excellency, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.
The Government has no prior knowledge of the issue before it becomes public; it has no connection whatsoever with the suspected culprit; it has never condone such actions and will never do so now or in the future. The actions of the suspected culprit are private action of an individual which he carries personal responsibility even before the law. It is therefore unfortunate and unjustifiable to attempt to link an unlawful action of only one person to the Government and over 15million people of the state. The person is solely responsible for his action and should take responsibility for it.
The State Government has a very cordial relationship with the indigenous people and Governments of Bayelsa and Delta States and will continue to do whatever possible to promote that. Kano indigenes living in these states and other states across the country are enjoined, as always, to live peacefully with their host communities and respect their ways of life and the Constitution of our great country, the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”