The parents of 14-year-old Ese Oruru have dismissed says their daughter is 18 years old, and not 14.
Ese was allegedly abducted in August 2015 by one Yinusa, aka Yellow, who was a longstanding customer of her mother, Mrs. Rose Oruru, a food vendor in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
Yinusa took Ese, who was said to be 13 years old at the time, to Kano where she was allegedly converted to Islam and forcefully married.
Subsequent efforts by her parents to get her released, including a visit to the Emir of Kano’s palace, had met a brick wall.
In an interview on Monday, Ese’s mother, Rose, said her daughter was forced to lie about her age because she had been manipulated by her abductor, Yinusa, and other elements working with him.
“We do not have an official birth certificate because Ese was born in a nursing home on February 22, 2002, in Opolo, Bayelsa State. We did not have money to go to a regular hospital.
“Ese’s immediate elder sibling, Onome, a boy, was born in November 23, 1999. I always write the date of birth of all my children down,” she said.
Rose said she had, on the advice of a non-governmental organisation, gone ahead to swear an affidavit to authenticate Ese’s age.
In the same vein, Ese’s father, Charles, said his daughter was 14 years old.
He said that the people that claimed that his daughter was 18 were trying to gain sympathy.
He said, “They are all lies. My daughter is 14. They know that Nigerians are now against them and they want to do everything to cover up their crime and make us look like fools. My daughter will never say a thing like that.”
Charles said he would not believe his daughter had been freed until he saw her.
He said, “I went to see the Commissioner of Police in Bayelsa today, and he said my daughter would be released this week. He said when the Emir of Kano returned from his travel, they would release my daughter to the Inspector-General of Police. I was happy, but skeptical because they have said the same thing before, and they did not free my daughter. I won’t believe anything until I see my daughter, Ese, in person. For now, it is still a probability.”
Also, Rose said she would not believe that her daughter had been released as claimed until she saw her.
She said, “We have been hearing different rumours, but I won’t believe any of them until I see my daughter. When we went to Kano, the Emir said something about her being released to us, so why should I believe them this time?
But I will be happy to see my daughter back home with me and safe.