Niger Speaker Gives reason for plan to marry off 100 female children orphaned by bandits

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The Speaker of the Niger State House of Assembly, Hon Abdulmalik Sarkindaji, has addressed concerns regarding his sponsorship of marriages for approximately 100 girls from Mariga Local Government Area of the state who were reportedly orphaned by bandits.

Responding to allegations that these marriages were forced upon the girls, the Speaker clarified his intentions. Through a statement released by Mallam Shamsudeen Lawal Binaira, his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communications in Minna, the Speaker explained the cultural context behind his actions.

He noted that over half of the girls already had suitors, but their families lacked the financial means to cover the customary marriage expenses.

According to Hausa tradition, a girl’s marriage typically involves providing her with essential items for her new household, including furniture, bedding, kitchenware, and other necessities.


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The Speaker emphasized that he made this decision after extensive consultations with the girls’ immediate families, including surviving parents, relatives of orphaned girls, religious figures, and key community members.

He said:

“Majority of these girls are orphans who have lost their parents, including children of our gallant vigilantes who lost their lives to bandits and nobody to finance their wedding despite attaining marriage age with someone ready to marry them”

“The girls are not being married out against their will or that their husbands are been forced on them, but out of sympathy. They have suitors of their choice but only that the parents and relatives do not have the means to marry them out.”


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