The President, IYC, Mr. Udengs Eradiri, made the call when the parents of Ese and executive members of the Urhobo Progress Union paid a visit to the IYC national headquarters in Yenagoa on Saturday.
Ese, the 14-year-old girl, allegedly abducted by Mr. Yunusa Dahiru, alias Yellow, in August 2015 from Bayelsa State and taken to Kano where she was forced into a marriage, is said to be six months pregnant.
Following the launch of #Free Ese Campaign by Punch Newspapers and public outcry that followed the abduction, the police freed her from where she was held captive in Kano in March 2016.
The police, thereafter, charged Ese’s alleged abductor (Dahiru) to court on March 8 , 2016 for abduction, kidnapping, unlawful carnal knowledge and sexual exploitation.
Eradiri alleged that that Oruru’s case was one out of the numerous incidents that had been going on and called on parents to be more vigilant and security conscious around their children.
He said, “There is a syndicate involved in trafficking of teenage girls for underage marriage. We, therefore, insist that a DNA paternity test should be conducted on Oruru’s baby whenever it is delivered to know who the real father is.
“We are worried that Yunusa who is still owing Oruru’s mother could afford to hire up to 10 lawyers including a Senior Advocate of Nigeria to defend him. We should also defend our people and ensure they get justice.”
Eradiri urged UPU to draw the attention of the international community and advocate for their support to check the abuse of rights of the girl-child and under-aged forced marriages in Nigeria.
He noted that Ijaws and Urhobos had a history of affinity and shared cultural and language ties, adding that injury to any group in Niger Delta was an injury to the region.
In his comments, Chairman, UPU, Bayelsa State, Chief Kingsley Akpaka, noted that the IYC, the media and other groups worked tirelessly in forcing the relevant authorities to free the minor from Kano.
He said, “We are here to say thank you and appreciate the efforts by leadership of Ijaw Youths in the struggle to free our daughter since August 2015. We appreciate the media and other groups and persons that played their different roles. We further appeal for IYC’s support as the case is in progress.
“We need the support of all the stakeholders in the Niger Delta because we have noticed that the Kano State Government, Sharia Council and Kano Emirate are interested in the case and they send legal representatives each hearing day.
“In view of this, the Urhobo Progress Union will ensure that the rights of Ese Oruru are well represented and we have enlisted the services of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria to strengthen the prosecution team.”