His Highness, Sir Sanusi II, The Emir of Kano
At the Murtala Muhammad Hospital in Kano are teenage girls who should be in school, but they were married off at the age of 12, 13, 14, put in the family way, traumatised during childbirth, barely escaped premature death, and ended up with the nightmare of Vesicovaginal fistula (VVF).
Statistics show that 150,000 girls in Northern Nigeria are suffering from VVF because more than 50 per cent of girls are married off before the age of 15. Child marriage accounts for the high incidence of VVF among Northern Nigerian girls.
His Highness, you took a teenage wife in September 2015, she joins a household with three older wives. Your newest marriage happened one month after little Miss Ese Oruru, was abducted and forcefully married in Kano.
You may read about Ese Rita Oruru who was abducted from her home in Bayelsa and taken to Kano and forced into marriage HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.
Sadly, this crime against humanity practiced by powerful elites, who ordinarily, ought to protect these girls.
Former Governor of Zamfara, Alhaji Ahmad Sani Yerima, travelled to Egypt, and took a child-bride of 13 and wedded her in front of a public audience in Abuja. This travesty was the subject of my IBA paper at a session in IBA Conference Dublin 2012, “Overcoming Challenges of Senator Yerima’s Child Marriage in Nigeria“. You may read it HERE.
Emir Sanusi, paedophilism is not an act of nobility or royalty. You may refer to Kano indigenes as your “subjects”, but the Nigerian Constitution recognises them as “citizens”. If you were the Duke of Edinburgh or King of edified places such as England, you may have been deposed by now and removed from the throne.
Sir, the Nigerian society has been so kind to have made you billionaire former CBN Governor, according to word from some quarters. I suggest that you fund education projects for victims of child marriage. You don’t need a billion naira, you only need a couple of millions to help Mr. and Mrs. Oruru, little Ese, and her siblings and others for the trauma, human rights deprivation, loss of dignity for several wrongs that happened in your ‘kingdom’.
By the way, Ese’s parents know when they gave birth to her, she was abducted at the age of 13.
I suggest human rights activists begin the campaign to free all victims of child marriage.
Carol Ajie is a human rights attorney. She can be reached by email HERE.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.