Nollywood actress Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde was one of the esteemed judges at the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria pageant in Bayelsa state on the 20th of July 2013. The actress and one of the most influential people in the world according to Time Magazine 100 was also presented with an honorary award at the event.
Omotola who has never been afraid to speak her mind with regards to political issues, strongly addressed the issue surrounding the approval of marriage for under-age girls in Nigeria – #ChildNotBride. Read the speech she gave at the MBGN2013 below.
Let me first and foremost thank The Lord almighty, my saviour and help for this award.
Thanks also to Silverbird group the organizers of MBGN.
Thanks to my wonderful husband, Capt Matthew Ekeinde, my support and best friend who is also here tonight. I am today one of the most influential person/people in the world because I wasn’t given off to marriage before the age of 18.
It scares and totally shocks me that the Senate in Nigeria (the most populous Black nation in the world and Giant of Africa) would not be passing in a law ensuring that every child should compulsorily be enrolled in school. A very alarming number of children today are on the streets hawking or have been abused, raped or are married to men/women who should be protecting them.
Who protects the children of Nigeria?
Would we wait for another Milala before we act?
Should we now remove the parental caution on movies that say “Not for persons below 18”.
This is a call for justice and equity for children especially the Nigerian Girl child,who has the right to quality education, a childhood and the decision of whom and when to marry.
My Name is Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde and I say No to paedophilia and No to the senate Bill endorsing Child marriage in Nigeria.
Photos: DanielSync PHOTOS
NOTE: To sign the petition click here. This is something we all have to fight against COLLECTIVELY.