As usual, she had arrived her mother’s shop that day looking forward to helping her make sales so that the family’s lot could be bettered. An innocent 13 year old with dreams and aspirations, she never knew that lying in wait for her, was an experience that was to change the course of her life forever.
Not only did she lose her innocence, she equally lost track of the modest life she was living. Till today, her kidnap and eventual forceful marriage in a strange manner, to an obvious stranger had remained a test case, better imagined than witnessed.
Welcome to a weird experience of Ese Rita Oruru, the youngest child of Charles Oruru and Rose Oruru, which occurred on 12 August 2015 at her food vendor-mother’s shop in Opolo, Yenagoa local government area, Bayelsa State.
Like a scene from a horror film, Ese, who was 13 years old at the time, was abducted by a man named Yunusa Dahiru (alias Yellow) and taken to Kano, where she was raped, forcibly Islamized and married off without her parents’ consent.
What made the matter worse was that this forceful marriage was conducted right inside the chambers of the palace of the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
Narrating the incident, Mrs Rose said, “When I came back, the elder brother of Ese, Kevin, 16, said Ese had left the shop since 11am and had not returned. I enquired where she could have gone, but he said he did not know.
“From there, I started looking for her, asking neighbours if they saw her, but they said they did not. As she usually sold food to northern artisans, I went to the place they usually gathered to find out if they saw Ese. But by the time I got there, they were in the mosque, so, I had to go back.
“After some minutes, I sent my son back to the place and directed that he should tell anybody he saw there that I wanted to see Yinusa. As the boy got there, one of them asked my son to tell me to come.
“When I got there, he said Yinusa, who is also called Yellow, told them he had sold his commercial tricycle and had gone home to Kano with my daughter, Ese. They told me Yinusa said he was taking Ese home to convert her to Islam to enable him to marry her.”
Ese’s story first caught the attention of media outlets when her parents pleaded with the public for her release. Efforts to return the young teenager to her parents proved futile.
However, on 29 February 2016, Ese was reportedly rescued by Kano State Police and placed in custody of the Nigerian government. She was later revealed to be five months pregnant with her kidnapper’s child after being released.