I am not a Muslim and I don't understand the working of their laws. Every tribe, culture and religion has its own rules and regulations but where do they get of trying to impose it on people from other socio-cultural backgrounds? I have tried to stay clear of any political topics since the creation of this my blog. I have said nothing about the boko haram sect because of the simple reason that I didn't create this blog as a political avenue. However, I have something to say even if not much concerning this child marriage bill the Nigerian Senate are threatening to pass. It is a subject that hurts even to think about. A few days ago, a friend of mine called me an activist because I aired my views so vehemently.
As if the issues of child labour and child trafficking, all forms of child abuse in the country aren't enough, they now want to legalize child marriage. If it was even the concept of betrothing a child to another child so they get married when they grow up, I would try to understand. Now an old man marrying a child young enough to be his grandchild is preposterous. But it has been the ways of our northern neighbours hence the many cases of vesico-vaginal fistula (VVF) associated with these children during childbirth. Though we've all frowned at it, we never really said anything. The reason Nigerians are crying today is because something they thought would fade away with enlightenment is about to be legalized and if so will be forced on everyone. If such a bill is passed would the whole Nigerians especially the Christians be affected by something they don't believe in? Would I be sued to court if I refuse to give my child into such a situation? Not forgetting the unfairness of it all to the children involved even if they were born into it, for their RIGHTS to be taken away from them before they know the meaning of the word.
Yesterday I posted an article on "which were naija" enumerating the many problems due mostly to corruption that we have in Nigeria. That same evening I got a message on my blackberry messenger, It was a reply of Senator Ahmed Sani Yerima to the critics of early marriage. This is what he had to say;
- Nigeria has many uncountable problems and none of them is early marriage. As a matter of fact early marriage is the solution to about half of our problems. For those who wonder if I can give my daughter(s) out in marriage at the age of 9 or 13, I tell you most honestly, I can give her out at the age of 6 if I want to and it's not your business. This is because I am a Muslim and I follow the example of the best of mankind, muhammad (PBUH). In Islam, marriage is not only about sex, it is about family helping one another in achieving their goals, which is the attainment of Paradise. In Islam, a girl can be given out in marriage as early as 6 years old, but consummation of marriage can only be done when the girl becomes physically mature and she gives her consent to it because unlike English law, it is not permissible for a man to rape his wife in Shari'ah Law. So what can anybody tell me? I live in a city where young girls at age 12 have already become serial fornicators and cannot count the number of men they've had sex with. I live in a city where primary school children dis-virgin themselves behind toilets on valentine's day. I live in a city where young girls flood the street at night looking for men that would give them
N500 to have sex with them. I live in a city where parents send their daughters out overseas to prostitute and send dollars down. I live in a city where government officials pick undergraduates from University car parks with coastal buses to wild sex parties.I live in a city where abortion is so common that even a chemist store owner can perform abortion with just N2,500. These are your daughters, and this should worry you and not Yerima's private matters. So ask again why I support early marriage and I will slap the jinn out of your head.
About his above statement, I have my replies;
- First, we are not against early marriage, we are fighting child marriage.
- How did he know the prices the prostitutes on the streets are paid and even how much the chemist man charges for abortion?
- Was it not this same senate that passed a bill for legalization of prostitution and abortion a few years back? The same people who want to pay prostitutes
N5 million each in the name of getting them off the streets. Let me just say that would have encouraged prostitution. Who doesn't want free N5 million?
- Now, If the government provided the basic amenities for its citizen, do you think these girls would be self sufficient with what they are provided for by their parents? Do you think they'd need to prostitute to make ends meet?
- No, instead of creating job opportunities for the citizens, they move the money to Swiss accounts, their children in the best Universities abroad whether they know anything or not, buying designer shoes and bags with over £500 each. The Nigerian minimum wage is
N20000, 1/6th of that money for a pair of designer shoes.
- The children who have dis-virgined themselves behind the school toilets, would they have done that if the Government provided comprehensive education for them? They would have been too busy in the classrooms and too tired at the end of the day to think of anything else but to go home for some food and rest.
- What determines her maturity please, just physically? what about psychologically or emotionally? Is boobs the criteria for maturity?
Please she is a CHILD not a BRIDE!!! Let our children grow. Educate them. Make them self sufficient. The level of illiteracy and ignorance is already too much for one lifetime.