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Niger Speaker stops plan to send 100 female orphans to early marriage

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Niger Speaker stops plan to send 100 female orphans to early marriage
Speaker of Niger Assembly, Abdulmalik Sarkindaji

Speaker of Niger Assembly, Abdulmalik Sarkindaji, has bowed to pressure, stopped plans to marry off 100 female orphans from his constituency as requested by traditional leaders in Niger State.

He disclosed this on Tuesday while speaking to journalists in a press meeting in the State.

This stepback decision came after the Minister of Women Affairs, Barrister Uju Kennedy Ohanenye, announced to have written a petition to the Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun and a legal order to stop Speaker Sarkindaji from sending 100 female orphans, said to have lost their parents to insecurity in the state to early marriage.

Speaker Sarkindaji announced on Saturday, May 11, 2024, the decision to marry off the girls because of banditry but met a lot of public condemnation, most of whom called instead for an education and welfare intervention over early marriage.

Following his announcement, the Speaker said on Tuesday,

The Minister has decided to drag me to court over this matter, which I believe is beyond the scope of her office.

Subsequently, Minister Ohanenye began calling the Speaker to order a petition.

However, Speaker Sarkindaji argued in the press meeting that the Minister lacked knowledge of how he became a speaker representing his constituency

The minister lacked any knowledge about my constituents and their needs, says Speaker Sarkindaji, adding that she has no right to criticise his decision to help his people.

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