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Disquiet As Niger State Assembly Speaker Plans To Marry Off 100 Female Orphans


The Take It Back Movement in Nigeria has voiced strong opposition to a proposed plan by the Speaker of the Niger State House of Assembly, Abdulmalik Sarkindaji, to facilitate the marriage of 100 female orphans in the state. The movement has called for an immediate retraction of the decision, describing it as highly insensitive.

According to reports from SaharaReporters, Sarkindaji announced his intention to pay the dowries of the brides as part of his constituency project, citing concerns about the rising number of female orphans in Mariga Local Government Area, many of whom lost their parents to bandit attacks.

In a strongly worded statement issued by Omolola Pedro, Head of the Gender Department at TIB, the organization criticized the speaker’s plan, labeling it as a disturbing misrepresentation of empowerment. The statement highlighted the urgent need for genuine investment in the education and development of women and girls, rather than resorting to marrying them off as a solution.

“It is worrisome that girl children who have lost their parents to banditry in the state are about to be ’empowered’ by being married off like some tubers of yam,” the statement read.

TIB also pointed to the alarming statistics of out-of-school children in Niger State, which contribute significantly to the national figure of over 10 million, with girls accounting for more than 250,000 of the 700,000 out-of-school children in the state alone.

The group argued that instead of promoting child marriage, the speaker should focus on enhancing educational opportunities for these girls, making education their constituency project.

The statement concluded by urging the Speaker of the Niger State House of Assembly to cancel the marriage plans and instead prioritize educational and vocational training for the orphans, ensuring their ability to lead independent and successful lives.

“Take It Back Movement hereby calls on the Speaker of Niger State to immediately disembark on this ill-fated journey and to see to their education and equip them with sustainable life skills,” the statement added.

This stance by the Take It Back Movement reflects ongoing concerns about child marriage in Nigeria and the need for stricter enforcement of laws protecting the rights of girls and women in the country.





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