The Bayelsa State Governor, Mr. Seriake Dickson, has reiterated his support for 14-year-old Ese Oruru and her family.
Ese was abducted by Yunusa Dahiru, a regular customer at her mother’s food stall, in August 2015, from Bayelsa State and taken to Kano State where her parents said she was forced to convert to Islam and forced into marriage without their consent.
Ese was released this week following a massive campaign by The PUNCH, which generated national outrage and forced the authorities to ensure she was reunited with her family.
Dickson had received Ese and her parents on Thursday at the Government House in Yenagoa.
During an interview with journalists shortly after the meeting, Dickson called for a thorough investigation into the abduction and subsequent prosecution of Ese’s abductor. He also pledged the state government’s support for the Orurus.
In response to an enquiry by our correspondent, his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, said the utmost priority of the governor was Ese’s welfare and rehabilitation.
He said, “We will ensure that she (Ese) gets the best of care. You will agree with me that she has been through a lot already. The governor has directed that she is properly attended to by a team of medical practitioners, counsellors, who would work with her parents to offer the much needed support.”
When asked if the state government had specific arrangements, Iworiso-Madison said there were “no specifics for now.”
“What we can only assure the family is that as a government, we will stand by Ese, not just now, but most importantly in the days, months and years ahead,” he said.
Meanwhile Ese’s mother, Rose, told our correspondent on Friday that she and her family are grateful to the governor for pledging his support.
She said, “We are happy with what the governor said on Thursday at the Government House. But we don’t want to make demands on him. Since he said he would support Ese and our family, we have to believe him and would just wait to see what he will do.”
Also, Ese’s father, Mr. Charles Oruru, said he believes Dickson would keep his promises.