February 29, 2016 by Kambili M.A. Chimalu
I want to start by saying that I have been alternating between a burning inferno of rage and complete emotional exhaustion.
I had planned to write something else today, but yesterday, I became aware of the #FreeEse case and what I had planned to write on seemed so superficial. After reading the basic facts of Ese Oruru’s case, I was vibrating with rage. How could something like this happen in this our Nigeria? Further reading led me to realize that Ese’s case is not an anomaly. It is just one of millions of cases, where innocent girls are kidnapped and forced into marriage.
Some facts about the case:
- Ese Oruru was thirteen when she was abducted in August of 2015 by one Yinusa.
- Ese was forcefully converted to another religion, her name changed to Aisha Chuwas, and “married” by said Yinusa.
- Ese’s mother made several trips to Kano to retrieve her daughter, but the Emir told her to go to Sharia court. Listen to Ese’s mother recount her story here and here.
- The Inspector General of Police claimed that the release of Ese is “dependent” on the Emir, a local traditional ruler who also happens to be a little bit of a pedophile [Last year, Lamido Sanusi, the 54 year old Emir, married an 18 year old child].
Now that I have given a little bit of the background, I can ask the question that has been burning in my brain: WHAT SORT OF FUCKERY IS THIS? WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?
In what universe does a man think it is okay to “marry” a thirteen year old child? On what planet does the Inspector General of Police defer to a traditional ruler when a crime has been committed? There are no logical answers to these questions, so one can safely conclude that Nigeria exited the realm of sanity a long time ago. As a people, we cannot let our nation devolve into a place where insanity, religious fanaticism, and deference to “power/money” reign supreme. We must take certain steps to halt this quick descent into the abyss of chaos.
First, we have to address a culture or religion that sanctions the defilement of little girls by pedophiles. While we are at it, we need to address the use of religious courts as adjudicators in Nigeria. Nigeria is a secular state. Therefore, everything and everyone must bow before our constitution. No matter what any religious text says, marrying an underage child is immoral. The irony is that we cannot even count on our legislators to uphold the constitution. Our very own senator Ahmed Yerima, the fucking pedophile, married a thirteen year old child and he is still a free man and a senator to boot. When we have two systems of justice in our country, why won’t there be anarchy? How can a mother be referred to Sharia court in order to save her child from a predator? What authority does said court have? THERE IS NO ROOM FOR RELIGIOUS COURTS IN OUR COUNTRY!
Next, we have to address the ineptitude of our security agencies. We pay the different security agencies to protect us from harm and maintain order in our society, so why are they not doing their jobs? How difficult is it to take some officers, storm the location where the girl is being held, and return her safely to her parents? For the Inspector General of Police to say, without shame, that the release of a victim is “dependent” on a local ruler is the height of disgrace. If he cannot do his job, he does not need to be in that position. We are in the era of change, so this is one change that is long overdue. A strong message needs to be sent that we will not tolerate ineptitude from those in positions of power and that message needs to begin with the firing of Solomon Arase.
Last, we need to name and shame the millions of morons that support this kind of insanity. Exhibit A:
A quick glance through Mr. Dee Aleeyou’s page will show that he claims to be a university lecturer. If someone that claims to be educated [and is in a position of educating the future leaders of Nigeria] can spout such nonsense, what can we expect from those we would consider to be ignorant? An educated person supports child marriage! How about the false equivalency of child-molestation and prostitution? I have always maintained that there is nothing as dangerous as blind obedience to any religion. Even with some people’s education, they cannot see beyond their indoctrination.
It is not just enough to secure Ese’s safe return to her parents. We need to see some heads roll for this. EVERYONE involved in the abduction of Ese Oruru must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Nobody should be allowed to hide under the cloak of religion in order to commit atrocities. Some others need to be relieved of their duties. If they cannot protect our children, then they are useless to us. My heart breaks for the countless girls that are in Ese’s shoes. Nigeria has failed her daughters.
Nigeria! I do not even know what to say about it. Too often, it takes all I have to give without giving me anything return. I am tired of being outraged. I am tired of weeping for the plight of girls and women in Nigeria. I am just tired. Something has to give.
I become discouraged when I see that the generation I put much stock in, my generation, has people that are worse than the generations that destroyed our country.