Ese’s Abduction: Soyinka, Falana Wants Yunusa Punished


Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka and a Senior Advocate of
Nigeria, Mr. Femi Falana, on Sunday, rebuked individuals attempting to use
religion to justify the action of one Yunusa Dahiru, aka Yellow, who had
abducted a 14-year old girl, Ese Oruru at her mother’s food shop, last year
August in Opolo, Bayelsa State, and taken to Kano without her parents’ consent.

Soyinka and Falana at a press conference in Lagos, said the
matter was purely criminal and not religious, and the crime offender should be dealt
with under the law of the country.
Soyinka faulted the claim of the Director, Muslim Rights
Concern and Professor of Islamic Eschatology, Ishaq Akintola, who had claimed
in a newspaper publication on Sunday that Islam had no age barrier for
Sotinka said; “Culture is not static; it is dynamic and
evolves. It is of humanity. There is no culture without human beings. If you
say you are religious, there are others who could come to say they are holier
than you are. We should take religion out of Ese’s abduction. We are talking
about criminality.
“Nobody should say people are Islam-phobic. We are only
against criminality. Who invokes religion in criminal matters? Who brings
religion into issues of government and constitution? If you want to bring religion
into a criminal matter, then, let us talk about other things. When we are
talking about crime, don’t diffuse it with religion.”
He continued, “Did Shakespeare tell you that a court wants
to grab Romeo and prosecute him? People bring their own intelligence into
matters and think others are fools. Don’t quote Shakespeare when we are
discussing criminality.
“The welfare of a child is more important than the money
stolen. If you steal money, you commit crime against society but when you force
a child into marriage, you have ruined her for life. When criminality is in the
public domain, it becomes everybody’s business.”
He also mentioned how the society has failed Ese and said
the government must protect other underage female from child marriages like the
one conducted with a teenager by a former governor and now a Senator.
“Until we make an example of people like Yerima (Senator
Ahmed), there will be thousands of Yunusa,” he stated.
While speaking, Falana on his part, said Yunusa did not only
violate Ese’s rights to religion as enshrined in Section 38 of the
Constitution, but also broke the laws contained in the Child Rights Act which
Nigeria is a signatory.
The SAN added that the likes of Yerima and Akintola would
not allow their teenage daughters to go into child marriage.

Falana said, “Attempt to bring religion into the matter is
sheer hypocrisy. People like Akintola are playing on the intelligence of the
poor. “

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