THE nation was on Sunday was jolted with reports by some media regarding 13-year-old Ese Oruru who was allegedly abducted by an Islamic fundamentalist, simply named Yunusa, an indegine of Kano State, from her mother’s petty-trading food shop in Yanagoa, Bayelsa State on August last 12 year.

ACCORDING to reports, Yinusa who resided in Opolo, Yenagoa, had abducted Ese on the fateful day and eloped with her to Kano and refused to allow her return home. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Oruru reportedly made several visits to Kano to secure her release but to avail.

THEIR efforts were said to have been abortive as the said Yinusa’s kinsmen insisted that Ese, who they refered to as ‘Aisha’, belongs to them as their wife who has embraced Islam. The matter was said to have been reported to the Police and the Department of State Security, DSS and their promise to bring home Ese until recently, remained unfulfilled, forcing the parents to take the issue to media and civil society groups. The media blew the lid of the unfortunate incident open and has made the whole world to know what the innocent family were going through for seven grueling months.

EVEN though Ese Oruru has been released to the family by the police authorities and united with the family, we are shocked that such as barbaric act can still go on in the country in the 21st Century in spite of the circularity provided by the nation’s constitution.

WE condemn the abduction of Ese Oruru from her mother’s shop and we are worried about the role played by the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and the Sharia Customary Court, Kano. The kidnap of Ese in Bayelsa and forcefully taken into marriage by Yunusa is in complete violation of the Child Rights Act of Nigeria and even, a violation of Islamic religion teachings as whatever marriage Yunusa and his cohorts claimed did not get the approval of the parents of Ese as she was still a minor as at the time of the crime.

AGAIN, we are shocked that this kind of incident could occur when the nation is still grappling with the activities of Boko Haram insurgency which modus operandi isn’t different from the action of Yunusa typified in forcible marriages. It is sad that this incident has occurred at a time when the Federal Government is battling to root Boko Haram insurgents out of the North East where over 261 young school girls were abducted from Chibok and have been missing since two years.

WE are surprised at the dilly dally position of the police and DSS in the country over the matter until it was exposed by the media. It goes to show that the high and mighty in Nigeria still perpetrate crime with impunity while the poor, vulnerable members of the society do not sufficiently enjoy the protection of law enforcement agents.

WE out rightly condemn the role played by the Emir of Kano as the prime suspect in the abduction saga and the innocent Ese were being housed in his palace according to reports. It equally mean that there could be more Eses under abduction in the palace of the Emir of Kano. It is against this backdrop that we call on President Muhammadu Buhari and all the security agencies as well as the International Criminal Court to thoroughly investigate the activities of the Emir of Kano as raised in this issue forceful abduction which suggests that more persons who do not have the voice or skills of the Orurus could be going on in the palace.

WE are pleased to know that the police has released Ese to the mother and has arrested the main culprit, Yunusa. The Inspector General of Police must not rest on this feat, he should ensure that all those behind this illicit business, including the Emir of Kano and members of the Sharia Customary Court, Kano are made to face the full weight of the laws of the land, otherwise, it will be setting a dangerous precedence for religious intolerance and criminality in the country. The police must go ahead and press charges against Yunusa and the Kano Emirate for using the palace of the Emir for this illicit business.

THE story of Ese may have given a lead to what may be going on silently in the country. We are of the strong opinion that all those involved in this modern day slavery, forced marriages and forcing others to join their religion must be fished out and properly dealt with nationwide a la Boko Haram insurgents. We believe that a non-violent approach must be adopted to convert any person to any faith or religion. It is an incontrovertible fact that Islam is a religion of peace and its adherents are supposed to preach peace and pursue peace with all men. But a few fundamentalists in the country have been portraying Islam negatively as a religion that operates violently and wins converts violently. We urge all such individuals and groups to desist from such acts forthwith.

WE salute the Nigerian media and Civil Society Organisations for rising up in defense of Ese and the Orurus. It goes again to show that the media remains the fourth estate of the realm and the hope of the ordinary man. Media and Civil Society Organisations practitioners should not rest until Ese is fully reconciled with her family and certified mentally and physically fit to face her bright future by an internationally acclaimed physician.