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“I have removed my hands” – Niger Speaker begs after FG queried plan to marry off 100 girls

The Speaker of the Niger State House of Assembly, Abdulmalik Sarkindaji has suspended his plan to sponsor the wedding of over 100 girls in his constituency, Mariga Local Government Area.

This was after the minister of women’s affairs threatened to sue the Speaker in court over the move.

He, however, said all the expenses already incurred and the materials purchased towards the success of the wedding would be handed over to the parents of the brides.

His words: “If the parents wished to go ahead with the marriage of their daughters, so be it, but I have removed my hands.

“I am highly disappointed in the Minister for Women Affairs, and it is unfortunate that she allowed herself and her office to be misled by social media reports without finding out from me the true situation on ground concerning this marriage.

“She never bothered to get across to me to even find out the motive behind this humanitarian gesture, because I didn’t force any girl into marriage. It was the parents of the girls that approached me and solicited my support and I gladly accepted to assist them.

“Again, this was done after due consultations with religious leaders, traditional leaders, and other critical stakeholders before the brides were carefully selected. They were 270, but I told them that I could only provide support for 100 of the intending brides for now.

“So, for the women affairs minister to be threatening me with court action on an issue that she knows nothing about and never bothered to find out the true situation of things is quite unfortunate. My action has the blessing of the parents, religious and traditional leaders, including key stakeholders from my constituency.

“The minister should know that both my religion and tradition do not allow girls of marriageable age to roam the streets. We don’t allow prostitution or promiscuity in the north. This thing is being done with good intentions but some people decided to make an issue out of it.

“This is politics taken too far by the minister. She should be properly educated on the culture and tradition of the north, that girls of marriageable age are not allowed to roam the streets.” 

The article was originally published on Politics Nigeria.

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