Niger Mass Wedding: Women Affairs Minister Finally Throws Support, Makes Donations

Niger Mass Wedding: Women Affairs Minister Finally Throws Support, Makes Donations

  • The women affairs minister Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye has extended scholarships and gifts to 100 orphaned girls in Niger state
  • The minister had kicked against the wedding citing concerns about the girls' welfare and consent
  • Kennedy-Ohanenye also petitioned the Inspector General of Police and filed a lawsuit to halt the controversial mass wedding before finally supporting it

FCT, Abuja - The minister of women affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, says she has awarded scholarships and distributed various gifts to 100 orphaned girls in Niger state before their mass wedding which is sponsored by the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Abdulmalik Sarkindaji.

The women affairs minister had expressed opposition to the mass wedding, citing it as a violation of the Child Rights Act.

Women affairs minister donates to Niger mass wedding
Women affairs minister Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye gave scholarships and gifts to 100 orphaned girls in Niger state ready for mass wedding. Photo credit: Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye
Source: Facebook

She addressed a press conference in Abuja, on Thursday, May 23, mentioning that she had petitioned the Inspector General of Police to halt the wedding and filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction against the Speaker proceeding with the event, The Punch reported.

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The speaker, however, criticised the minister for interfering in a religious and cultural matter beyond her comprehension, arguing that she acted without attempting to grasp the challenges faced by the girls, justifying the need for sponsored weddings.

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Additionally, he garnered support from the Niger State Council of Imams and the Muslim Rights Concern, cautioning the minister to refrain from involvement in the planned mass wedding, which they asserted should proceed as planned.

Niger mass wedding: Minister makes donation

Prior to the mass wedding, the minister, represented by her Special Assistant on Private Sector, Adaji Usman, visited Niger state to disclose scholarships and distribute various items, including wrappers and food supplies, to the 100 young girls.

The distribution took place at the palace of the Emir of Kontagora, Mohammed Muazu.

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Through Usman, the minister provided 10 Point of Sale machines, 100 wrappers, and 350 bags of 10kg rice. Furthermore, she offered a scholarship up to university level for any girl interested in pursuing education.

Additionally, the Emir of Kontagora pledged to gift each girl a sewing machine.

She said:

“Every parent will want to marry out her wards if they attain the right age for marriage. The initial opposition to the planned marriage was misunderstood, hence the media war between my office and the Speaker’s.”

Niger mass wedding politicised - Speaker

Expressing gratitude to the speaker for his handling of the matter, the minister assured that diligent monitoring would be conducted to ensure the empowerment scheme's objectives are upheld in the homes of the girls' respective husbands.

In his statement, the speaker lamented the politicisation of the noble intention to support the marriage of the 100 girls.

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He said:

“It was pure politics from my constituency. They misinformed the minister that I am playing politics with the lives of the children by forcing them into marriage."

In his remarks, the Emir of Kontagora thanked God for the peaceful resolution of the matter.

Lawsuit withdrawn against Niger speaker

Earlier, reported that the minister for women's affairs announced the withdrawal of the suit challenging the speaker of Niger state from marrying off 100 orphans in his constituency.

The minister stated that her ministry was in discussions with the speaker and traditional rulers in the state to determine the age range of the orphans.

She also revealed that her ministry would now focus on supporting women and girls affected by the security challenges in the state.


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Ezra Ukanwa (Editor) Ezra Ukanwa is a first-class graduate of Anchor University, Lagos. He holds a master's degree in mass communication. Ezra currently serves as the Current Affairs and Politics Editor for, where he covers events and provides insightful analysis and reportage on national issues. He was named best Campus Journalist (Anchor University Communications Award, 2019). Kindly contact him at: or +2349036989944

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