Islamic oppression Nigeria | 29 May 2024

Nigeria: Human rights activists condemn ‘forced marriages’ of 100 young girls and women

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As reported by The Guardian on 16 May 2024, over a hundred girls orphaned by Islamist kidnappers are to undergo marriages organized by politicians and male religious leaders in northern Nigeria.  The Imams’ Forum of Niger State has planned the mass wedding in late May 2024. There are fears that many of the girls are underage. A petition to halt the mass marriage has been launched by campaigners.

Mass kidnaps and terror attacks occur at a furious rate in northern Nigeria. Kidnapping is a hallmark of jihadist terror tactics, and kidnappers are forcing the mass shutdown of schools and the fleeing of Christian communities. Girls kidnapped by jihadist groups are routinely forced into marriage or sex slavery. 
“The involvement of local politicians in marrying-off teenage orphans is sparking disgust,” notes Naomi Williams of World Watch Research.  “The handing-out of young women as brides, rather than ensuring protection and education, appears to be a breach of the Maputo Protocol guaranteeing the rights of women and girls, which Nigeria is a signatory to (Maputo Protocol, accessed 20 May 2024). Consequently, Nigeria’s Womens’ Minister, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, has filed a court order to halt the marriage ceremony. The Imams Forum of Niger State is threatening to sue her, unless she withdraws her criticisms.”

Naomi Williams concludes: “The conflict speaks to the uneasy coexistence of Sharia law alongside a secular constitution.  Under federal law, a woman may not marry under eighteen;  but in the twelve northern Sharia states, Sharia law suggests she may marry at puberty.”


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