I am an insufferable believer in the redeemablility of Nigeria. Yet with the wayndifferent constituencies in this country have responded to the evil kidnap, human trafficking, enslavement and possibly violation of Ms Ese Oruru, a 14 year-old Bayelsa girl, I am forced to reexamine my hope.
The Ese Oruru abduction and journey into forced underage marriage in Kano is not just another case of man’s inhumanity to man; it is also a case of gross ingratitude and biting of the proverbial hand that fed someone.
A strange man came to the Opolo area of Yenagoa the Bayelsa State capital and was received wholeheartedly by the community. A family provided shelter for him because he was homeless. Soon the community took over the responsibility from that family by providing him with a better home.
As if that was not enough, the community raised funds to support him in procuring a Tricycle, popularly known as “Keke” in local parlance.
Then out of the blues, one afternoon using his familiarity with the people, he abducted one of the daughters of the family that first housed him, took her to far away Kano, where he speedily sold her to the District Head of Karu, who paid him enough to get him a brand new SUV and Two Police escorts among other largesse.
Thanks to the Emir of Kano, Sanusi who revealed the identity of the man, Yunusa procured the abducted girl for. In the Emir’s word:
“In August 2015, the District Head of Kura came to the palace with a young girl of about 15 years.
“We were told that she was married to him after she was converted to Islam,” Sanusi said.
“I also ordered the Kano State Shariah Commission to liaise with the Assistant Inspector General (AIG) Zone 1, to assist in taking her back to her parents in Bayelsa through the AIG who oversees Bayelsa axis, for her safety,”
“In Islam, she has no right to just go ahead and decide things for herself. She is still young.
“She is not mature enough. And nowhere in Islam where such a young girl can just make up her mind and give her hands in marriage just like that. It is not permitted in Islam.
“That is why we said she must be taken back to her parents,” Sanusi said.
He said he was surprised to hear that he was still keeping her in his custody.
“This is injustice of the highest order”
Yet some people want us to believe that the #FreeEse saga is a Love affair between a wayward ’17 Year old’ girl and a lovestruck 18 year old Yunusa?
Where are your Souls? Once again, I say God forgive you.
For the avoidance of confusion, Ese just turned 14 years old on the 22nd of February 2016. She was abducted from her home. She did not leave her home freely or of her own volition. She was cruelly and wickedly carried away and stolen from her parents, family and loved ones and forcefully taken to strangers to a distant land by a wicked ingrate.
Ese and her entire family had never been to Kano in their entire existence before this wicked abduction. She had neither seen nor been there before Yunusa took her away from her Yenagoa home.
What we have in our hands here is far from a love story about two inseparable young people: it is rather a sad and tragic tale about pedophilia, child abduction, kidnapping, human trafficking, slavery, rape, impunity, wickedness, religious bigotry and ritual sex.
It is a welcome development that Yunusa has been arrested. However, this case should not just end with him. The District Head of Karu who put Yunusa up to the abduction and subsequently forcefully converted a 13 year old to Islam and married her should also be prosecuted.
Furthermore, the utterly shameful role of Premium Times in this sad story should also be investigated and dealt with.