10. FATIMA (14) AND FATIMO (9)

They are both of Chad origin were born, bred and live in Lagos. According to their custom, when a girl child finishes primary six or reaches the age  of 13 years, she will be given out in marriage while the male child continues his education to whatever level he wants. Fatima was forcefully married out to a man she did not even like while insisting that she want to further in her studies, all this fell on her parents’ deaf ears.

She wrote a compassionate letter to come to her aid else she will kill herself, to her head teacher through her younger sister Fatimo (9), the teacher got in touch with the welfare department in Oshodi Isolo LCDA who now contacted us. With the help of the DPO at Makinde Police station who gave us two officers, we trailed her mother going “home”, home being one of the abandoned buildings within the Concord Newspapers compound, climbing over the fence, heavily pregnant with her 10th pregnancy.

She was picked up alongside the two daughters and an uncle to the Ministry of Women Affairs & Poverty Alleviation (WAPA), where Fatimo

(9) pleaded with the Permanent Secretary to help them else what happened to her sister will befall her too. Unfortunately the said man Fatima was “married” to and her father were away on duty as security guards.

The two girls were taken to one of the homes under WAPA where they have been enrolled in schools and their needs are beings taken care of by the ministry else their parents will send them back to Chad to fulfill their custom.

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