#ChildNotBride: In Defence Of Senator Yerima By Jameelu Mabai
Section (38) of the 1999 constitution and article 18 of the universal declaration of human right provide “Every person shall be entitled to freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom (either alone or community with other’s and in public or private) to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.
Few weeks ago the issue of #childnotbride resurfaced again and puts senator Yerima on the spot on Aljazeera tv network for marrying an underage girl, an act he did based on the teachings of the holy prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) and the book of Allah to which he worships. He has on numerous occasions and at the appearance on Aljazeera cleared the air regarding his marriage to a child bride in which he said” child marriage is permissible. In the Koran there is no specific age of marriage. [If the government imposed new law against child marriage] there will be violent conflict from the Muslims. While saying no age restrictions in marriage, Senator Yerima state we will not accept this; we’d rather die than accept something which is not a law from ALLAH”
He also stated that “Nigeria has uncountable problems and none of them is early marriage. “As a matter of fact early marriage is the solution to about half of our problems. For those who wonder if I can give my daughter(S) out in marriage at the age of 9 or 13, I tell you honestly, I can give her out at age of 6 if I want to and it’s not your business. This is because I am a muslim and I follow the example of the best of mankind, Muhammed (S.A.W).” These were the words uttered by senator Yerima.
You can have a marriage contract even with one year old, not to mention of a girl of 9, 13,and 15. But is the girl ready for sex or not? What is the appropriate age for sex for the first time? This varies according to tradition and environment.” it’s in correct to say that it’s not permissible to marry of girls who are 15 and younger. A girl aged 10 and 12 can be married and those who think she is too young are wrong they are being unfair to her.” Grand mufti of Saudi Arabia sheik Abdulaziz AL-SheikI
n Nigeria, muslims who constitute the majority of the Nigerian populace expressed their popular opinion in favor of the Islamic law. Why the opposition? Unless we are not under a democratic government. Half of the 36 states have passed the act but it has been adopted by only one of the dozen muslim state and even that one state made a crucial amendment substituting the age of 18 for the term “PUBERTY”. Each state in Nigeria has the constitutional right to amend legislation to comply with its local tradition and religion. Meaning that the central government is powerless to impose a minimum age of marriage. The Koran cannot be questioned by muslims since it’s not simply considered to be inspired but the very words of Allah uttered by his final messenger Muhammed (S.A.W).
Based on the fact with which senator yerima and his like used as a shield to justify their stance I expect those against and WHO oppose his notion to search for the truth regarding Yerimaks religion in line with child marriage before attacking and keep counter attacking Yerima’s action and other muslims faithful who shares the same ideology. Peoples’ public discourse about islam is filled with essential paranoia, fear and commentary of people who not only don’t know much about the topic but are often dissimissive of people who do.
Lastly delaying the marriage of girls in muslim countries is something new and contradictory, perhaps it’s happening due to the westernization and application of man made laws which has lead to rapid increase in fornication, adultery and also child prostitution which is on the rapid rise.
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