Mr. Charles Oruru, the father of Ese Oruru, the then 13-year-old girl abducted and taken to Kano where she was allegedly raped, forcibly Islamised and married off without her parents’ consent, is lamenting that the family has been abandoned.
He also said that all the promises made by the governments of Bayelsa and Delta states as well as some non-governmental organisations with regard to Ese’s scholarship had not been fulfilled.
The abduction of Ese, the youngest child of Charles Oruru and Rose Oruru, occurred on 12 August, 2015 at her mother’s shop in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
Ese, who was 13 years old at the time, was abducted by a man named Yunusa Dahiru (alias Yellow) and taken to Kano, where she was allegedly raped, forcibly converted into Islam and married off without her parents’ consent.
The conversion and marriage allegedly took place in the palace of the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
On February 29, 2016, Ese was reportedly rescued by the Kano State Police and placed in the custody of the government. She was later revealed to be five months’ pregnant with her abductor’s child after being released.
Charles told The PUNCH in an interview on Thursday that since all the promises did not come to fruition, he had relocated Ese, her child and other family members to their hometown in Ughelli, Delta State.
He recalled that three months after Ese was delivered of her baby, some persons allegedly attempted to ‘steal’ the baby at the Police Officers’ Mess in Yenagoa where Ese and the baby were domiciled then.
Charles stated, “A lot of things have happened. As Ese was delivered of her baby, three months after, some people attempted to steal the baby but God helped us, they did not succeed.
“After that incident, I had to fight to take Ese and the baby from there. So, we have taken them to Ughelli in Delta State. I am the only one living in Yenagoa. As they left, I started making efforts to get the scholarship the Bayelsa State Government promised Ese after giving birth.
“Since she gave birth, the scholarship promised Ese has not materialised in spite of all our efforts. The government asked one official to look for a house for us. We were given a two-bedroomed flat at Okaka in Yenagoa. But because of some issues, we have left the apartment; even FIDA and the NGOs helping us appear to have backed out.”
Charles noted that when they got to their home in Delta, he personally wrote letters to the Governor of Delta State for scholarship but he replied that the government did not have provision for such.
He also lamented that the court proceedings had been stalled since August 2017 when the trial Judge, Justice H.A. Nganjiwa, was transferred to Abuja.
He explained, “Even the court matter is another funny aspect. We went to court last in August 2017 before they took the trial judge to Abuja and up till now, the judge has not come back. Because of the absence of the judge, the matter has been stalled.
“When I tried to find out what was amiss, somebody in the court told me that the trial might commence in 2018 but we do not know when that will be.”
As for Yunusa, Charles said the suspect had been freed from Okaka Prison, Yenagoa and flown to his hometown in Kano State.
On whether Yunusa had been taking care of Ese’s baby, he retorted,
“God forbid! The baby is in our possession. We have been taking care of the baby. He has not called anybody. Anyway, it is expected because the child is not his.
“The child belongs to me. He did not pay any bride price to anybody. We do not marry off our daughters like that in Urhobo land. If you want to marry, you must seek the consent of the parents to give you a wife.”
He added that Ese was well and kicking, stressing that she is now an SSS2 student in a school in Ughelli.
He said that it was the family that was responsible for the school fees of Ese contrary to speculation that the government was footing her education bill.
“ We pay for her school fees. Contrary to speculation, the government of Delta State is not responsible for Ese’s fees. We sought their help but they did not offer any. The school my wife took her to before, we were not able to pay before one Good Samaritan assisted us in paying for two terms.
“Anyway, by the grace of God, Ese’s schooling is going on well. Someone is assisting us to offset the school fees. Since September, the baby has been in our possession. I won’t like to give my grandchild to anybody.”