The Travails of Ese Oruru: Redefining Child Sexual Abuse (CSA)?
What is Child Sexual Abuse? With the likes of Nigerian lawyer, Festus Keyamo describing the ordeal of Miss Ese Oruru in the hands of her abductor, Yunusa Dahiru, alias Yellow, as a case of “Romeo and Juliet” there is urgent need for Child Sexual Abuse to clearly defined and rightly situated. This is supported by emerging revelations that Miss Ese may just one out of many Christian girls being abducted, forcefully married and converted to Islam by Muslims in Northern Nigeria.
Femi Fani-Kayode’s summation on the Ese saga serves as a good response to insinuations by Lawyer Festus Keyamo that Ese’s ordeal is a case of love with is: “The facts are as follows. She is 14 years old and not 18 and she was abducted from her home. She did not leave her home freely or of her own volition. She was cruelly and wickedly carried away and stolen from her parents, family and loved ones and forcefully taken by complete strangers to a distant land. This was a land that she had never seen or been before and which was on the other side of the country. Ese-Oruru Ese-Oruru The truth is that this is not a love story about two inseparable young people: it is rather a sad and tragic tale about pedophilia, child abduction, kidnapping, human trafficking, slavery, rape, impunity, wickedness, religious bigotry and ritual sex.” (Ese Oruru: Emir of Kano and those distorting the narrative, by Femi Fani-Kayode On March 2, 2016).
Fani Kayode also pointed to misinterpretations and distortions in the media over the issue. He writes: “Instead of sympathizing with her and considering the fact that she may never be the same again in view of the physical and mental torture and trauma that she has been subjected to over the last few months, some misguided souls and shameless commentators have the temerity to come to social media and say that she was old enough to “get it” whilst others say that she ”loved it” and ”wanted it”. This leads us to two very important aspects of the saga – is Ese old enough for the claimed “consent” and did she actually consent to “be abducted and converted to Islam?
Without wasting time on these arguments, the globally-accepted meaning of Child Sexual Abuse is unambiguous. “Sexual abuse is when a child or young person is pressurized, forced or tricked into taking part in any kind of sexual activity with an adult or young person” (NSPCC) Child Sexual Abuse can involve many activities including:
- Fondling / touching / kissing of genitals or other areas of the body.
- Penetration with penis, digit, or object.
- Exposing genitals or sexual material to a child.
- Talking to a child inappropriately, graphically, and explicitly about sex.
- Asking a child to touch their own genitals or another person’s.
- Non-forced sex with an underage child.
In the face of this clarification, where lies the crux of the arguments? Is Yunusa Dahiru’s act justified? Is Ese not an “underage child”? Was she “pressurized, forced or tricked into taking part in any kind of sexual activity with an adult or young person”? For those defending the Yunusas of this world, the questions are for you.
By Ike Ezugwu.