Girl Child: NGO Partners Traditional Rulers’ Wives on Early Marriage

By Edward Adamidenyo, Abuja Bureau Chief

A Non-governmental organizations (NGO), Helpline Foundation for the Needy in conjunction with the Traditional Rulers Wives Association in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja are currently collaborating to save teenage girls from early marriage in the nation’s capital.

The group coordinator, Ambassador Gimbiya Hannatu Usman Nda Kupi’ who led some journalists to the shanty where the minor lives, said liberating the girl child from early marriage was their mandate. She disclosed that the partnership has already led to the rescue of two minors from early marriage in Karu, Abuja.

Amb. Nda Kupi’, who is wife of the Chief of Garki, Dr. Usman Nda Kupi’ disclosed that her organisation got to know about the planned early marriage following a tip off from a teacher within the community who contacted the President of the Helpline Foundation, Dr. Jumai Ahmadu.

Revealing that her Association, in conjunction with Helpline Foundation for the Needy Abuja, ensured the rescue of teenage girls in similar practices.

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Naima Dauda, 14, is currently in Primary two in a public school, but her father, Dauda Adama, was bent on giving her out in marriage, citing poverty as the compelling reason for forcing Naima to marry a 45-year old scavenger (Baban Bola) and a husband of two wives.

Adama, an indigene of Sokoto State who moved to Abuja a decade ago revealed that he has two wives and six children and Naima’s mother was no more with him.

According to him, poverty was the major reason that left his family with no alternative but to arrange early marriage for his daughter Naima to a scavenger.

Earlier, Naima expressed appreciation to the two Abuja-based non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for coming to her rescue, decrying that the marriage was against her wish, even as she stated her preference to complete her primary education and proceed to higher levels.

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