Which way Nigeria? Something is brewing again in our nascent democracy which we as a people must fight to put a stop to. The Nigerian senate on Tuesday July 16th pegged the official marriage age in Nigeria as 18 years when they amended the constitution. Then Former Zamfara Governor, now Senator, Sani Yerima, who married a 13 year old Egyptian girl in 2010, opposed the age restrictions saying it was anti-islamic. For some reason the Senate agreed with him and made an about turn.
The Senate has now deleted the age specification from the new constitution, leaving marriage age for women open. They stated that ‘a woman is deemed to be “full of age” once she is married irrespective of the age she did so.’
This move is being strongly resisted by enlightened and concerned people around the country.
Some concerned individuals have taken it upon themselves to organize peaceful marches and to sign petitions to stop this barbaric act. They have therefore sent round this message;
‘We’ll Insist That Our Daughters Be Sent To School And Not To Infant Marriages.
Education is the bedrock of every society, and the education of the girl child is as important as that of her male counterpart.
We therefore are surprised that Nigeria’s Senate didn’t consider making it mandatory for every girl child below 18 to be in school. Instead, they gave a legislative seal of approval for the marriage of underage girls. That means even a 5 year old toddler could be married off by her parents.
Nigerians of all tribes and religions have rejected this, and therefore undertake to stand against the state-sanctioned abuse of the girl child. By tomorrow, Saturday, 20th July, 2013, we’ll be signing a petition that’ll be forwarded to the National Assembly, Abuja.
If you are in Abuja, the venue is: Unity Fountain, by Transcorp Hilton. Also the Park. Time is: 9am-12noon.
For those in Lagos, the venues are: 1. Ojeez Restaurant, National Stadium Surulere. 2. Alausa Park, Opposite Lagos State Governor’s Office, Ikeja. 3. The Palms Shopping Mall, Lekki 4. New African Shrine, Agidingbi, Ikeja. 5. Arrangements are still on-going for those in Festac Town and it’s environs.
Time is 9am-12noon.
We also ask you to volunteer your time to help us take papers to churches and mosques for signing. We need to gather as much signatures as we can push for within just 2 days. Millions of them, if we can, will speak more than mere thousands. And if the millions are in their tens, then better.
We will save the girl child. She’s a #ChildNotBride.
I support the #ChildNotBride initiative.