Mass Weddings: Women Affairs Minister withdraws suit against Niger Speaker - Ripples Nigeria
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Mass Weddings: Women Affairs Minister withdraws suit against Niger Speaker



Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy -Ohanenye, has withdrawn a lawsuit she filed against the Speaker of the Niger State House of Assembly, Abdulmalik Sarkindaji, over his plans to sponsor the marriage of 100 orphaned girls from his constituency.

Kennedy-Ohaneye had on Wednesday, petitioned the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, seeking to stop the planned weddings scheduled for May 24.

She also went ahead to file a lawsuit aimed at stopping Sarkindaji from going ahead with the plans.

However, the petition and lawsuit had raised serious opposition from Islamic bodies including the Niger State Council of Imams and the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), warning the minister to steer clear of what does not concern her.

In a strongly worded statement on Thursday, MURIC called on the minister to withdraw the litigation and petition she wrote to the IGP.

In a statement by the Chairman of the Kano State chapter of MURIC, Malam Hassan Indabawa, the group said:

“We found the harsh and hasty decision taken by the Honourable Minister for Women Affairs over a matter that is entirely beyond the scope of her ministry.

READ ALSO:APC chieftain lashes at Women Affairs minister, over planned mass wedding of 100 orphan girls in Niger

“The minister’s attempt at media demonisation of marrying off of 100 poor and orphaned girls, who were largely traumatised for losing both parents to brutal and bloody banditry and insurgency, exposed her ignorance to the culture and traditions of the Muslim North.

“This elaborate media blitz, over the matter, MURIC observed, was deliberately done to sway public opinion against the marriage institution, and an attempt to vilify Sarkin-Daji, after demonstrating his genuine concern for the needs of members of his constituency.”

While announcing the withdrawal of the lawsuit during an interactive session with journalists at her office in Abuja on Friday, the Minister stated that she decided to withdraw the suit after wide consultations with stakeholders.

She said her ministry in collaboration with Sarkindaji and traditional rulers from Niger State, have begun investigating the ages of the girls to ascertain if they are within the stipulated age for marriage.

According to her, the ministry will now focus on empowering girls as well as others affected by insecurity in the state.

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