■ It is a national embarrassment –Evah, Ijaw leader
■ Yinusa committed statutory rape, he should be jailed for life –Anyadubalu, lawyer
By ENYERIBE EJIOGU, PATIENCE EGWUWA, OGE OKAFOR and AYO ALONGE
THE firestorm of disapproval set off by news that 14-year-old Ese Oruru was impregnated by Inuwa Dahiru Bala (Yinusa Yellow), a 25-year-old native of Tofa village, Kano State, who abducted her in Bayelsa and purportedly ‘married’ her while in his custody in Kano is yet to abate.
The teenager was released following the intervention of the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, and handed over to her family inA buja.
Expressing his displeasure over the sordid afair when he spoke with Sunday Sun reporter on the phone, National Coordinator of Ijaw Monitoring Group, Comrade Joseph Evah described the incident as a national embarrassmen, even as he challenged the political leadership for laying the foundation.
His words: “The abduction of Ese Oruru is a national embarrassment and a crime against humanity. This issue should make us reflect on family values. I think what has happened has given us a signal to begin a process of rebuilding family values. It is totally wrong.
“I believe that President Muhammadu Buhari and all the governors should apologise to the nation.W hat has happened means that the government cannot protect our children. We cannot blame the girl. Rather it is the federal and state governments that created the economic hardship that is producing deviant behaviour that we are witnessing today. Our society is upside down. Parents should begin to look after their children with more seriousness.
He further opined that Yinusa should be diligently prosecuted for this crime and added: “He should be dealt with based on the law for abducting the underage girl and forcefully converting her to Islam.”
Also commenting, a legal practitioner based in Lagos, Chief Pat Anyadubalu, said that Yinusa, who is at the centre of the matter, should face the full wrath of the law, stressing that what he did by abducting the girl was against the Child Rights Act.
“The girl is a minor in that she is not up to 18 years . Anybody who engages in sexual act with a child has committed statutory rape. And the punishment is imprisonment for life. He should go to jail for life.T he law says that it is inmaterial whether the girl consented or not. Or whether the man did not know that the gir l was not up to 18 years at the material time, even i f she looked biologically mature. Once the girl is not up to 18 years, it does not matter whether she gave her consent or not, the law looks at such sexual act as statutory rape and punishes the person accordingly,” Anyadubalu said.
A medical practitioner and specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Dr Sola Akinde, described the Ese Oruru saga as “an extreme case of child abuse.” He also berated the mother of the girl for setting the stage for what happened to the girl.
Buttressing his opinion, Akinde said: “At the end of the day, if you look at the story and read between the lines because according to her mother, she fed the boy and gave him a place to sleep in her shop because he didn’t have a place to sleep.
“It is that same shop that she would leave her daughter alone, and go to attend to other duties. So , the boy and the girl came together and you know tha t a young mind is easy to influence or exploit.T he girl must have been seeing the boy in her mother’s shop. That gave the boy unlimited access to the girl. If you don’t want cat to eat meat, you don’t put the two of them together. The woman by bringing the boy close to the girl gave the boy unlimited access to come in contact with the girl and the boy now had opportunity to exploit the girl. And you know girls can easily be exploited by confusing words from him.”
Gospel music artiste, Mrs. Aity Dennis couched her anger in these words: “It is sad that a girl can be kidnapped for whatever reason; a girl will just disappear without a trace. How do they think that the family of the girl will be feeling? Are they not human beings? They are human beings. I feel that such should not be allowed to happen again. It is very sad that this is happening to our young children. And I want to ask those people that are kidnapping other people’s children to go and marry, if it is their own children, will they like it? It is very sad that this is happening in our country in this 21st century.”
With the pregnancy confirmed, should it be aborted in view of the girl’s young age and circumstances under which it was conceived, Akinde was prodded.
He shot back this response: “Has the girl denied that the so-called Yinusa (Inuwa) is not responsible for the pregnancy? The pregnancy should be allowed to run its course.
In dealing with the stigma, I think that first the family of the girl should take her away from the environment and let her go and stay somewhere, she is not probably known. Then let her have the baby. After that she should be taken back to school to complete her education.
On her part, human rights activist and President, Women Arise, Dr. Joe Okei- Odumakin wondered how a young girl like Ese could be expected to become a mother under the circumstances that preceded the pregnancy and opined that terminating it is inevitable.
Her words: “Terminating such pregnancy may be inevitable considering the circumstances surrounding how it all happened. It is the most unfortunate aspec t of the Ese Oruru saga and it is inevitable, except the family of the teenage girl decide otherwise. But the fact remains that there are more dangers than one can imagine for a 14 year old to become a mother in such a manner as this.”
Similarly discomfited by Ese’s pregnancy, which added a twist terrible twist to the tale and what ough t to be done about it, Anyadubalu said: “It is a very unfortunate and pathetic situation because no father would bargain for such a thing. It is a very difficul t thing to say because the pregnancy is already five months. Secondly, aborting the pregnancy is a criminal offence, which is not advisable. Even though I am not a medical doctor, attempting to abort a pregnancy that has reached five months is a great risk. It is a di lemma for someone to find himself in a situation like this. It is a very serious dilemma, I must tell you.”
But sounding a slightly different view, General Overseer of Calvary Kingdom Church, Okokomaiko, Lagos, Archbishop Joseph Ojo, advised the parents of the girl to simply show her abundant love and care as she goes through the pregnancy.
Notwithstanding the obvious psychological pain thrust on the girl and her family by the ugly situation , Archbishop Ojo warned that no attempt should be made to terminate the pregnancy.
He said: “The girl is just a juvenile.W hat the parents should do is to care for her lovingly as she goes through the pregnancy and then safely gives birth. If the public does not put too much pressure on her, she will come through this without being more scarred than she already is. I strongly advise that the parents care for her. It was not her fault that this thing happened.”
Dennis concurred with Ojo, saying, “There is nothing else she can do than to keep the pregnancy because nobody should tell her to abort it. It is good that she is alive. She should not abort the pregnancy. She should be allowed to keep the pregnancy because she does not know what that child will become in future.”