My husband is always envious every Mother’s Day! Jokes aside, he marvels at the multiple celebrations of mothers, fortunately with pride because he knows we deserve it!
Driving home from morning mass on Mother’s Day, and scanning through the papers, I read an editorial on the recent saga of the abduction and release of 14 year old Ese Oruru, when a number of issues crossed my mind. 1. The apparent danger young girls face… Abduction for marriage. And 2. The obvious incompetency of our law enforcement agencies, especially in prosecuting cases for the ‘poor’.
How else can one explain the fact that Ese had been reported as a missing person to the police over six months prior, and progress only came after the ‘case’ was reported in the media. Anyway one can hardly blame the police given the fact that there are only 300,000+ officers to police our 170 million Nigerians!!!
For now as we celebrate motherhood my heart aches at all that’s wrong with the Ese story, and what it says of our country. Ese is on course to becoming a mum herself, though like with most things Nigerian, vague uncertainty clouded the truth for a while as there were are speculations and denials that regarding the pregnancy; which really shouldn’t have been as she was purportedly abducted for conversion and marriage. After all sex is part of marital relations and becoming pregnant six months after is not unusual.
That a similar story broke in that same week that Ese won her freedom, is scary!!! In fact I read of two other cases of young girls in kaduna state who had witnessed the same fate and were yet to gain their freedom months, even years after.
I therefore wonder how many such cases exist that are unreported, and how being a teenage Christian girl living in the north could be a potential hazard. Especially if your parents are poor and unlikely to have easy access to justice.
I think women and human rights groups north of the Niger need to speak up on this, and I use this occasion of Mother’s Day to make that call.