Analysis of the Aljazeera forum discussion on CHILD MARRIAGE -Senator Yerima/Stella Damasus!

Filed under: Global Issues |

 

Many may believe that the issue of child marriage especially in Nigeria has been sorted out, but the truth is, it hasn’t. I know some of you may have read my article on this topic when the ovation was still very high in Nigeria. However, i choose to revisit it once more because of the misinterpretation of the law and silly statements made by Senator Yerima and Professor Ishaq Akintola during a forum discussion on Aljazeera, with Nollywood actress Stella Damasus and Aminu Gamawa of Harvard Law School present.

It took me about 1 hour 42 minutes to watch the video clip and digest the discussions. During this time period, i began to understand why the simplest things don’t work out well in Nigeria, especially with those who claim to be leaders. Because the truth is, most of these leaders who have outgrown their usefulness, if there was ever any, complicate matters as majority of them are uninformed and has refused to be informed.

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I am going to analyze the 42 minutes discussion on Aljazeera based on individual representation or rather opinion, so you can better understand the angle i am coming from and why i made my earlier statement about some of the Nigerian leaders. The topic of discussion was majorly on “Child Marriage and the dangers it pose”, with a big reference to the man who is at the top of child marriage perhaps worldwide, Senator Ahmad Yerima of Zamfara State, Nigeria.

Let me begin with Ishaq Akintola, a Lagos State University professor, who shares Senator Yerima’s believe on Islam and Child marriage. Simply put, Professor Ishaq was the most incoherent and incomprehensible of them all during the discussion. Is either he finds it challenging to understand questions or he fails to listen attentively to answer questions that was put forward to him instead, he goes around hitting on areas that were not even part of the topic of discussion, and when asked to hold on so that another person can talk, he makes noise even the more. For him, it was chaos and a big apology to Nigerians. I wonder why he was chosen when there are thousands of brighter minds in Lagos State University.

Even though Aminu Gamawa, a coordinator at Harvard Law School Graduate Forum, goofed at some point, he was well collected, attentive to questions and never diplomatic or economical with his answers. One major thing i like about his response to the issue on ground was the fact that he mostly concerned himself with the dangers of such practice, as well as correct misconceptions or misrepresentations of the Islamic law as regards child marriage. He truly understand the rule of a forum discussion, knowing when to give in when asked to, not like the Lagos State University professor, Ishaq Akintola who thought it was a street debate.

Senator Yerima, the one who indirectly, is the reason for such gathering, continued to contradict and embarrass himself even outside the shores of Nigeria. As common to most Northern Islamic leaders in Nigeria, he made many silly statements and defense using the Islamic laws and the Quaran. Insinuations of laws that is untrue in the Quaran. Laws which many other Islam faithful has said do not exist. In addition to most of his untrue statements, he boldly stated that VVF persist due to the fact that the government of Nigeria cared very little about healthcare in the country. Who are this government that Senator Yerima was referring to, if i may ask? Is Yerima not part of the government? Hasn’t he been part of the so-called government for a very long time now? If the government cares very little of healthcare as eloquently put by Senator Yerima, why can’t he put forward a motion in this regard, to the National Assembly so the anomaly could be corrected, the same way he stood to challenge the law on child marriage?

Senator Yerima also stated during the discussion that child right act is only for Christians and not for Muslim; do you please believe this guy? I would have said that he’s entitled to his own opinion but this isn’t a matter of opinion, it’s a constitutional thing which he, should and must abide to. In fact, it’s something he accepted when he took office as Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Was there a time the act says “Christian’s child right act?” If crops like Yerima (that includes Professor Ishaq Akintola) is rooted out of the system, the problem of Nigeria will seize to exist. The simple truth is that Senator Yerima has no reason whatsoever to marry and keep marrying little children. Deflowering them before their ripe time and making them feel very much insecure. He babbled at every question and never seems to make sense in his statements. How can a man be proud to say that a fifteen year old girl gave him a beautiful baby girl? Senator Yerima deserved to be arrested by the Nigerian police for child abuse.

The most impressive and presumably, generally acceptable argument was made by one of Nigeria’s top ranked Nollywood actress and singer, Stella Damasus. She remained objective and spoke more on the value of the girl child been educated, the dangers of child marriage etc.

In conclusion, Nigeria is not an Islamic nation and should never be treated as one. Every girl child in Nigeria should be allowed to go to school, grow and make her choice on who they want to marry. My suggestion is that there should be a stricter law in the country that forbids anyone, especially these Northern Senators who have love for the children, to marry underage child.

 

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  • Kudos to Stella and Aminu for their brave contributions.

  • Kudos to Stella and Aminu for their brave contributions.