Bayelsa State Governor Henry Seriake Dickson has called for a comprehensive investigation into the abduction of 14-year-old Ese Oruru, who was abducted last August and forced into marriage in Kano State.
The Kano State government has directed the Ministry of Justice to collaborate effectively with the Nigerian police towards ensuring that Ese’s abduction was prosecuted to a logical conclusion.
Governor Dickson expressed optimism that the investigation would be extended far and wide with a view to bring the perpetrators to justice.
According to a statement by Governor Dickson’s Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, the governor tabled the demand on Thursday evening during an interview with journalists in Yenagoa, shortly after receiving Ese and her parents in the Kano State Government House.
Dickson wondered why it took so long to secure Ese's release, adding that there were questions begging for answers.
“Those who knew something about her abduction failed to say or do something to ensure Ese’s return to her parents,” he said.
The governor continued, “This matter has to do with enforcement of the laws of this State. This matter is not religious. We as a government are seeing this as a matter of law enforcement, the rights of a young girl, her right to proper development and her right to grow up in the company of her parents and to practice the faith of her parents.”
The governor expressed his determination to bring justice to this case, saying, “I want to use this opportunity to assure all that the Nigerian police force is working hard. I have directed the Ministry of Justice to collaborate effectively with them to ensure that this matter is prosecuted to a logical conclusion.”
Dickson reiterated the fact that the case is not about religion or culture. “Like I said, we are looking at this issue not from the prism of culture, tradition or religion. From now on, this matter has to be looked at purely and simply as a case of law enforcement and as a case of State responsibility and the protection and safety of our children.”
The governor, who has been briefed by the police commissioner, directed that a team of medical personnel and counselors be set up to liaise with Ese and her parents in order to offer support. He expressed the government’s preparedness to take appropriate steps to reintegrate her to society.
“We have directed that a team be set up, made up of medical practitioners and counsellors, who would liaise and work with Ese and her parents to offer support. We are prepared to support and stand by Ese, not just now, but most importantly in the days, months and years ahead,” he said.