GOVERNOR’S WIFE PROSCRIBES MONEY-GIRL-MARRIAGE PRACTICE
The determination of Dr Linda Ayade, wife of the Cross River State Governor in the fight against the practice of ‘child for money marriage’ in some communities of Obanliku Local Government Area of Cross River State, took the center stage during a 2-day workshop organized by the National Human Rights Commissioning collaboration with the United Nations and European Union.
The Cross River State Commissioner For International Development Cooperation, Hon (Dr) Inyang Asibong gave the exposition of the Becheve and Utanga people of Obanliku Local Government Area during a workshop held at the Transcorp Hilton Towers, Abuja.
The Commissioner said the wife of the Governor, had through her pet program, the Mediatrix Development Foundation (MDF) intervened and engaged the communities involved in the age-long practice, through the traditional rulers, religious leaders, the Media as well as Civil Society organizations.
“The Governor’s wife efforts had increased advocacy to policy makers and community leaders and expanded efforts to educate, sensitize and provide a platform for the people of Becheve and Utanga communities to discuss issues relating to gender based violence”.
Dr Asibong explained that the Cross River State government had also set up a high-powered Committee through efforts of the wife of the governor in a bid to ending the inhuman cultural practice of “money-girl marriage” which she described as a form of Gender-based Violence (GBV).
The Commissioner explained that efforts of the state government have been helpful in tackling the menace while explaining that the United Nations, European Union and other international development Donors will partner the state government to see things first-hand in Becheve and Utanga communities.
“These young girls are married out to pay debts owed by their parents.The marriages could happen at age five, three, and sometimes even before conception they are already sold to pay debts. It’s a form of child slavery and Gender Based Violence that has been an age long cultural practice transferred from generation to generation. But what I came here to tell you is that Cross River State Government has taken it as a challenge and we are solving the problem using the political will of the Governor and special support of Her Excellency, Dr Linda Ayade.
“I am calling for immediate support and partnership between the Cross River State government, the United Nations, the European Union and other local and foreign development Partners to end the hereditary practice of ‘child for money marriage’ in Cross River State, Asibong pleaded.