The quiet marriage of former Zamfara State governor and Senate Minority Whip, Senator Ahmed Sani Yerima to a 13-year old Egyptian girl, has continued to attract condemnation by the womenfolk.
A coalition of women groups yesterday took its protest to the Senate, urging the Senate President, David Mark leadership of the Upper House to suspend him for marrying an underaged girl.
The coalition, led by Dr. Mma Nkwocha, comprised the Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Women Rights Advancement and Pro-tection Alternative (WRAPA) and the Global Association of Women Attorneys (GAFA).
In a swift reaction to the protest, Senators Chris Anyanwu, Emem Uffot Ekaette, Nkechi Nwaogu and Patricia Akwashiki pledged to provide support to the group in its advocacy against the act.
In addition to the call on the Senate leadership to suspend Yerima, the coalition urged his constituents in Zamafara Central Senatorial District to recall him from the Senate.
But Chair of the Senate Committee on Information and Media, Senator Ayogu Eze, said at a briefing session yesterday that those opposed to Yerima’s marriage should go to court.
According to him, “It is not the responsibility of the Senate to begin to investigate if he (Yerima) has broken the law. The Senate is not a law enforcement agency.”
Leader of the Coalition, Nkwocha had said, while briefing Senate Correspondents, that “The people who are supposed to be guarding the nation are the ones breaking the rules.
“Hitherto, Nigeria had hidden under the guise of Islam or Christianity but the issue in question is the marriage of one minor.
“Maybe because of poverty, he brought this little girl to Nigeria to complete the marital rites.
“We are calling on senator Yerima to resign because this is not the first time. We learnt that another girl that he had taken before now is turning seventeen years.
“He has kept that one aside and has come for this little one. Are we disposable commodities? It is unbecoming of a nation called Nigeria.
“We should be the ones advocating the abolition of child marriage…It is not acceptable.”
GAFA representative, Mrs. Chinelo Iriele, said “Nigerian women are sad because the Child Right Acts, Section 21 prohibits Child marriage.
“Section 22 prohibits betrothal of a child under the age of 13. Today one of our senators, Senator Yerima, who is a member of the highest law making body in the country, is committing the same offence that attracts the penalty of five years imprisonment or N500,000 fine or both.
“If we have a man like Senator Yerima, what happens to our bill on child abuse? We are calling for his withdrawal because it is a shame that Senator Yerima should contract marriage with a thirteen year old.
“This year, the one he married when she was fifteen would be seventeen this year. If we allow this to go on, by this time next year, he would be marrying a six-year old girl.
“We want the people of Zamfara State to start the process that would recall him from the senate. We are not afraid.”
My broda,if u r in his position,u ll not return the young girl because u ll be still looking for blood tonic, so don't act as if u don't like it,na his choice.
Even as i am talking here i need below 13 yrs
my friend, the deed has been done and there nothing anyone can do about it. the wrongs commenced from the girl's family. lets just say it's an act of freedom and for the so called ex state gov he a shame to adult hood.