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NGO wants child marriage, bizarre gender-based practices stamped out

Mrs. Mercy Ntuk is President, Mother Glory Ntuk Foundation

By Akpan David, Calabar

The bizarre practise where children as young as two years old are given out in marriage in the Becheve community of Obanliku Local Government Area of Cross River State otherwise popularly called Money Marriage or Money Wife as a way of settling ancestral or family debts should be stamped out.

An NGO, Mother Glory Ntuk Foundation (M-GNF) made this call at the end of their meeting in Calabar.

Speaking to news men, president of the NGO, Mrs Glory Ntuk called on the federal government to delve deeper into some of the traditional practises they see as heinous and diabolical with a view to outrightly banning them from local communities.

“Some of the gender- based violence and traditional practises are so bizzarre that they sound unbelievable until one comes face to face with the unfortunate situations, as the one in Becheve community.

“It is for this reason that we must stamp our feet and say that enough is enough. Our girls must no longer go through this horrendous experience in the 21st Century.”

M-GNF also called on other NGOs, child rights organisations and pressure groups to join forces with government to ensure that such modern day slavery such as in Becheve is abolished in the country.

Foundation also frowned at a situation where women would go into heinous crime of selling babies or running what is now popularly called Baby factories as uncovered in some parts of the country.

They described the business as appalling and should be tackled from all fronts.

“It’s in fact pitiful that a woman, without any iota of the fear of God, would trade on children.
“We are very grateful that the Police in this instance have renewed our confidence in them by rescuing some of the girls and the babies from the ‘factory’ in Akamkpa where the police have arrested the masterminds”.

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