Thoughts Lead To Appreciation
My dear Ese Oruru:
I have been so distracted by my ordeal at the claws of Sokoto police detectives that I only glanced at a headline on you.
AlHamduliLlah, moments ago, I saw details on your case.
The most important factor is Ese’s voice, your voice.
Your opinions alone matter on your safety and happiness.
Our duty is to ensure you understand and explore your voice.
I composed the draft of above at 12:55 hours on Monday 2016 February 29 in preparation for an article on you, Aisha Chuwas.
At 02:37 hours Tuesday 2016 March 1, I read a news publication of your choice and resolve to retain your new identity and residence.
My sole concern is whether your words were actually yours.
However, until there is credible evidence to indicate your statements were made in coercion, I shall work with your words as a mark of your independence.
You were very brave to leave the home of your parents for your comfort.
Eloping with a man is not a new phenomenon in our Nation Nigeria, for some young women and girls have fled a guardian’s residence for a better life.
A better life every youth deserves.
There is, however, a need for you to tread carefully.
Unfortunately, most adults in Nigeria will be of no help to you, for return to your parents you must, as far as they are concerned.
Even so-called girls rights activists are unable to differentiate a girl’s voice from that of her parents.
Campaigners will endeavour to defer to fellow adults at all costs, quoting laws of child protection, as if the laws were in effect parent protection.
Child protection means just that – understanding and providing for the needs of each child and preserving her independence.
A child or young adult is a unique being whose identity is bound to her parents’ only so long as the child desires such uniformity.
You see, my dear girl, I was once in your shoes.
No, I did not run off with a lover. Serious laughter.
Rather, I found freedom far away from my parents at the age of 15, thanks to the British government.
You need to take care that your freedom is not thwarted by your current social circle.
The last thing you want is to discover freedom away from your parents, only to lose that liberty at the hands of a new set of faces.
Stand for your independence, nurse it, and never let go of it.
Remember your education and health.
Never allow anyone to convince you that a young girl’s liberties are defined by her parents, a man or the society.
Take good care of yourself, my dear.
The one and only,