To say I am not really shocked by the new law or whatever it can be called that has been the bone of contention in the country is an understatement. I have known for quite a while now that we are being governed by a bunch of self-serving hypocrites who have no business being in the law making house in the first place. Whatever brought about such insanity as proposing a bill of making the legal age for marriage 13 years for a girl child? Isn’t it plain madness to any reasonable person with a conscience to ask a girl of 13 to move into a matrimonial home when she has her whole life ahead of her.
The age thirteen is the beginning of teenage hood and one of the tender ages of puberty when many young people just begin to grow into young adults and at this stage of their life they need tender care and nurturing both definitely not the kind that conjugal relations bring. In a country with an estimated number of over 150 million people, one would expect that there would be enough marriageable women to go round any man’s appetite rather we have a bunch of senators sitting in their high seats believing that ‘fresh blood’ is what will revitalize their dry bones. To say I am appalled would be making light of the situation.
Nigeria is a country filled with strife and we have corruption at the center of our affairs running our daily lives and yet the only thing that our lawmakers can see to bring up is an early child marriage. Are these not the same senators who so righteously condemned the same sex bill and said it was not part of our customs and traditions? Has our customs and traditions suddenly gone so awry and demented that it now supports early child marriage? If we are going to be making laws from morals then shouldn’t we be sticking to the full enforcement of norms and traditions? Even if our so called tradition accepts early child marriage, aren’t we in a civilized age where we know that some practices are abominable and just not right in the sight of God and man?
Seeing a list of 35 senators that supported this just kills my heart, are these the people that Nigerians have voted into power to rule them. If yes is the answer then this is not a country I will want to be a citizen, a country where the future of my unborn child is uncertain and where a grown man in his supposed ‘right senses’ would want to get married to a 13 year old child. It is barbaric to ask a child to be a mother, ask another child to beget another child. At age 13 I know that I would want my daughter to have all the loving and care in the world and not be bothered about such things as marriage and the issues that trail it.
We say Nigeria is backward and we keep saying that youths are the hope of Nigeria but where is the hope? Where is the change we so desperately seek, education that is supposed to be the key for the growth of any nation is in such state of ruin that it will take nothing short of a miracle to revive it. Will the 13 year old child that you have married have access to education? Will the child-mother be psychologically stable to live a normal life in society? Does the child-bride that you want to make be ripe for decisions to be made in marriage? Whatever happened to marriage being the union between two consenting adults and why not as well make the voting age to be 13 while you are at it? These and many more questions I pose to the lawless lawmakers who have failed us as Nigerians in their duty to serve us. We have more pressing issues of ASSU strike, NUPENG issues, electricity issues, Boko Haram crisis and some other insecurity issues, education is in a sorry state, most of our roads are nothing but routes to hell, death traps and all these are relegated to the backburner to bring up an issue that shouldn’t have even seen the light of day in the first instance.
I have read countless responses to the child-bride issue and even the response of Senator Sani Yerima who is one of the fore supporters of this insanity and I have to say that the arguments he raises begs the question of his fitness as serving this nation. He brings up issues of Islam encouraging early marriage and I am forced to wonder if Nigeria is an Islamic nation. Even if we were an Islamic nation, I am sure no religion would want evil for followers of that religion as God who we all ultimately serve didn’t mean evil for us at no time or the other in his creation. Thank God Senator Yerima himself agrees that Nigeria undoubtedly has many problems but what I fail to see his logic when he says that early child marriage is the solution to majority of our problems.
He talks about giving out his daughter in marriage at the age of 6 and I can only wonder what kind of father he is. It has been proven times without number that just because you gave birth to a child biologically does not necessarily mean that you are fit to take care of that child because giving out a child at 6 years does not speak of parental responsibility. He further goes on to argue that Sharia law does not allow a man to rape his wife so the marriage cannot be consummated until the child becomes physically mature and gives her consent. In this modern age where parents do not impose a husband or bride on their children, why talk about giving out a child at six years just to wait for her to grow mature enough for him to sleep with her. Is marriage really the best way of nurturing a child?
In all this madness, all I can say is that Nigerians have been able to come out to express their displeasure about this, if truly this is a democratic nation then the wishes of the people must be respected and we say NO to child-bride, we say a capital NO to early child marriage.
We want a nation where education is bettered, where the average man can live above N150 daily, a Nigeria where the power supply is excellent and the cities and states are developed, where science and technology is at the peak and good governance. A Nigeria free of corruption and where we can breathe and live easy without any fear of security or terrorism; that is what we want and not an early child marriage that belittles our females.
I refuse to be a part of the barbaric, primitive, inhumane, retrogressive, backwards, redundant, and unprogressive law that supports early child-marriage. Give the girl child a pen and not a penis, give her books and leave her boobs, an education and not ejaculation. Speak out today so that we do not get trodden up, our voices must be heard.