Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Muses on the Ese Oruru's Saga

      It is funny how the police operates sometimes  concerning the VIPs in our midst.  A case in hand is the  current case of Ese Oruru.  She was  abducted last August 2015 at the tender age of 13 years. She was abducted from Yenagoa, Bayelsa to Kano in Kano state. She purportedly changed her religion from Christianity to Islam. The last time I checked she was an underage ( at least in Bayelsa where she was abducted).  Yunusa , her abductor,  claimed he had married her and she had converted to Islam.  The constitution and the Child Rights Act however are explicit on the age of consent for girls which is pegged at 18 years even though these laws have (in the main) not been domesticated in the  North. This is because as a former Governor of Zamfara state and a Senator Mal. Ahmad Sani  Yerima said; once a girl has breast, public hair, and is menstruating she is marriageable e.  It is instructive to note the said senator married a 13 year old girl from Egypt.
     Sharia law  requires the parents' consent for a marriage to be valid.  With this knowledge it is therefore surprising that the Emir of Kano, Mallam Muhammad Sanusi ll, allowed the child to be kept under his roof in the palace for so long.  Agreed that he halfheartedly called for the girl to be released way back in September 2015 what he should however have done is see to it that his directive is followed to the letter and conclusively . After all, he is the leader of the Emirate and if his body language had shown seriousness I doubt if any of his subjects will defy his directive. He could have even gone further by handing over the said Yunusa to the security agencies.  Afterall, Yunusa had committed a crime by kidnapping and abducting Ese Oruru from her family back in Bayelsa state to Kano  state.  A leader is expected, at all times, to be above board and be seen upholding the law.  However, the buck lies ultimately with the police and the state security both which were aware of the case from day one.  They obviously knew a  crime had been committed yet they were powerless to bring the culprit to justice and also get the  hill released.  The  Inspector General of Police (IGP) was quoted as saying :
 "The Emir decided that he was going to mediate. But, because of his trip to Mecca with the president. That was what caused the delay. But now that he is back, we are going to sort it out as quickly as possible.” The IGP Solomon Arase further asserted that the release of Ese was dependent on the intervention of the Emir.
    Pray, is the civil authority now subjected to the whims and caprice of the traditional rulers?
This is definitely not good enough. In saner climes he wouldn't have resigned or booted out of the force for pandering to power and not upholding the law to which he was sworn.
  It was cheering news however, that the girl is finally on the way back to her family in Bayelsa. Thanks to  the #freeesenow movement on social media  and  the mainstream media.  This movement in no small way brought the plight of little Ese to the national, nay, international frontburner.
    I sure hope a lot of lessons have been learnt going forward. The family of Ese should be well   compensated by the  state for the unnecessary stress and trauma it was put through by the conspiracy of silence and the dilly dally of the security operatives. Punishment must of necessity be meted out to Yunusa for the kidnapping and abduction of Ese according to the extant law of the land.  This will serve as a deterrent for others who might also in  want to toe this ignoble path in future.