Minister supports mass wedding in Niger and makes donations

Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, on Thursday announced scholarships and presented various gifts to 100 orphan girls in Niger State, ahead of her mass wedding today (Friday).

The mass wedding is sponsored by the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Abdulmalik Sarkindaji.

The Minister criticized the mass wedding of the young women, saying it was a violation of the Child Rights Act.

Kennedy-Ohanenye, who spoke at a press conference in Abuja, noted that he had requested the Inspector General of Police to stop the wedding, adding that he had also filed a suit, seeking a court order to stop the Speaker from going ahead with the wedding. massive wedding.

In response, the spokesperson attacked the minister for venturing into a religious and cultural issue that she did not understand.

He said the minister acted without first making any effort to understand the circumstances the girls faced, which made it necessary for their weddings to be sponsored.

The Speaker was also backed by the Niger State Council of Imams and Muslim Rights Concern, who warned the minister to stay away from the mass wedding, which they insisted must go ahead as planned.

Before the mass wedding, the minister, represented by her special assistant for the private sector, Adaji Usman, was in Niger to announce scholarships for the girls and also to give them other items, such as wrappers and food.

The items were handed over to 100 youths at the palace of the Emir of Kontagora, Mohammed Muazu.

The minister, through Usman, presented 10 Point of Sale machines, 100 wrapping machines and 350 10-kilogram bags of rice.

He announced a college level scholarship for any of the girls who wish to go to school.

Likewise, the Emir of Kontagora announced the donation of a sewing machine to each of the girls.

Kennedy-Ohanenye also ordered that bank accounts be opened for the 100 brides-to-be, where they will be sent a stipend for the next six months so that they can settle in their husbands’ homes.

He blamed the media for intensifying the initial controversy surrounding the marriage of the 100 orphans, saying: “I had no intention of stopping the marriage, but to ensure that the girls were of marriageable age and were not forced to do so.

“All parents will want to marry their wards if they reach the right age for marriage. “The initial opposition to the planned marriage was misunderstood, hence the media war between my office and that of the Speaker.”

While thanking the spokesperson for the way the matter was handled, the minister promised that the girls would be closely monitored in their husbands’ homes so that the objectives of the empowerment plan were not frustrated.

In his speech, the spokesperson said that it was regrettable that this intention to support the marriage of the 100 girls was politicized.

He said: “It was pure politics of my constituency. They misinformed the minister that I am playing politics with the lives of children by forcing them to get married.

“And the minister, because of her passion for women and girls, quickly got into the matter although she could not find out the true state of things and the media began to amplify the whole matter.

“But thank God today I have been vindicated. The minister and the entire world have seen that these girls are of marriageable age and no one is forcing them to do so. It is being done with your consent.

“I decided to support the marriage out of genuine concern for these girls, most of whom are orphans as a result of insecurity in my constituency. It was with a pure heart.

“I also congratulate the minister for this empowerment plan for girls; “She has shown that she is a mother and that she has good intentions for the girls of this country.”

In his words, the Emir thanked God for the peaceful resolution of the matter.

He revealed that all necessary medical tests, including HIV/AIDS, genotype, Hepatitis B and pregnancy tests, were carried out and the results were given to the minister’s representatives.

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