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Ese Oruru: A tale of parental failure and negligence

22 March 2016, 14:51

Although there is nothing fundamentally wrong in manipulating the media, especially when such is aimed to achieve a common good of the society. At least it is also done even in the advanced countries of the world, but such has always been to restore hope in government or humanity, to reduce fear or anxiety on the citizens and to effectively use the mass and new media to reorient the general public towards certain habits or imbibing a culture that can enhance humanity and create a serene atmosphere of order and tranquility for development and for government’s policies and programs to thrive. In Nigeria, even though the government hasn’t been able to use the mass and new media to effectively educate the populace about its programs and policies except during political campaigns and electioneering periods, certain individuals and groups in the society who realizes the potency of the media has always formed the habit of manipulating it not only to distort facts and instill  negative values and mentality in the general public but also to paint a false picture of certain individuals, groups or segments of the country.

The media hype generated by the story of an alleged abduction of a teenage girl, Ese Oruru, from Bayelsa state is one of many instances in which the media has allowed itself to be used to distort facts and give false impression about a certain religion and segment of this country. The facts that more than 70 percent of the Nigerian population reasons with their hearts rather instead their brains has also made them an easy prey to the antics and manipulation of certain people whose negative propaganda is further made easy considering the fact that majority of the so-called educated in this country are actually semi-literate.

It is unfortunate that the North and the Islamic religion has become the whipping child and a scapegoat as far as underage or teenage marriage is concerned in Nigerian today. The fact that incidences of child marriage or child bride is not limited to a particular zone of this country as was been recently painted by mischief makers is a fact that we must all embrace if the campaign against pedophilia, child marriage and all forms of child abuse is to record a meaningful and an appreciable level of success. Human rights advocates and activists would do this country a lot of good if they viewed the menace of underage marriage from the perspective of culture rather than that of religion as it is currently perceived. Underage marriage is an unfortunate cultural practice which is as old as human existence in Africa, long before the advent of religion. Therefore it is a cultural practice which has gained roots across the nooks and corners of Nigeria. Hence, it is would be myopic and unfair to adduce the prevalence of child marriage to a particular religion or part of the country.

The part of the Ese Oruru alleged abduction saga which Nigerians and off course the media has unfortunately turned deaf ears to, is the fact that the parents of the said teenage girl failed to play their roles as good parents and guardians to their daughter. Although proper parental care and moral upbringing is generally lacking in majority of the Nigerian homes, the fact that Ese’s parents are as guilty as charged is obvious in this case. The bible says; “bring up a child in the way he should go and when he grows up he will not depart from it” It is however out of place to sympathize instead of blaming these parents for not properly discharging their parental roles and even prosecuting them for child abuse and child labor, Nigerians with the help of a segment of the media deliberately turned deaf ears on this very crucial and fundamental aspects only to mischievously and unfortunately turned a story of ‘two love birds’ into that of abduction and kidnapping of sort.

Some people have alleged that the Emir of Kano and the Sultan of Sokoto has their hands in all of these. Allegation making the rounds is that the two most revered northern traditional and religious leaders had promised car gifts and houses to northern youths who marries and converts Christian girls from the Southern part of the country into Islam. The question is that comes to mind is, if Northern youths were actually promised cars and houses to marry and convert Christian girls into Islam, why aren’t the rest of the youths doing it considering the high level of poverty and youth unemployment in Nigeria today? Wouldn’t it have being an opportunity for northern unemployed youths to make themselves richer by simply marrying and converting southern Christians if these promises were actually made to them by our revered traditional rulers?                  

Indeed, this allegation was only a ploy by enemies of progress and mischief makers to further give the north and Islam a bad image and create unnecessary tension in this country. But what would anyone really gain by tarnishing the religions of others and painting a segment of the country as bad and evil? The time for all Nigerians to call a spade a spade in order to ensure harmony, national cohesion and peaceful coexistence is now. We must not give in to the antics of enemies of this country whose main motive is to destabilize and create chaos and disharmony in our nation.                        

- MyNews24

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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