Minister of Women Affairs makes u-turn, backs Niger mass wedding of 100 Niger orphans with donations

The Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, has backed the mass wedding of 100 female orphans in Niger State, days after she vehemently opposed to it.

The minister’s aide, Adaji Usman, in a statement on Thursday, May 23, said she is giving out scholarships and various gift items to the 100 brides whose wedding is today, March 24.

Recall that the minister had previously opposed the decision of the speaker of the Niger House of Assembly, Abdulmalik Sarkindaji, who agreed to sponsor the wedding on the grounds of violation of the Child Rights Act.

However, according to the minister, the media were to be blamed for escalating the initial controversy surrounding the marriage of the 100 orphans, saying, “I did not intend to stop the marriage but to be sure if the girls are of marriageable age and were not being forced into it.

Every parent will want to marry out her wards if they attain the right age for marriage. The initial opposition to the planned marriage was misunderstood, hence the media war between my office and the speaker’s.”

Kennedy-Ohanenye commended Mr Sarkindaji and promised that the girls would be closely monitored in their various husbands’ houses so that the empowerment scheme’s objectives would not be defeated.

Meanwhile, Kennedy-Ohanenye’s donations included scholarships and other items, such as wrappers and foodstuffs, which will be given to 100 brides at the palace of the Emir of Kontagora, Mohammed Muazu.

She also ordered the opening of bank accounts for each of the 100 prospective brides, into which they will deposit a stipend to be used over the next six months while they settle into their husbands’ homes.



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