Take A Breath on Child Marriage: An Advice for Stella Damascus By Eseoghene Ohwojeheri
Let me begin by saying the “child” marriage debate can only make people famous, it can only be used to stay famous, it can only revive careers of actresses who are smart enough to hurriedly make a youtube video when the heat is on, but it will continue to happen and not even the removal of the controversial supportive clauses or the inclusion of a new prohibiting
one will stop it. This is the fact; plain simple, in one paragraph.
I have watched the drama playing out and how Stella Damasus has tried so hard to be the lead actor. From a youtube video with costumes and the rants of a little girl to an Aljazeera performance [see below] where she frowns while other guests speak, I have observed the Stella lady and I think she needs the following advice:
Firstly, arrogance, insults and name calling does not make you right. You are right when you are right you are wrong when you are wrong. For example you referred to the Islamic position on marriage age as “deafening, old and archaic”. Earlier in an article of yours you praised the Islamic mood of worship and the simplicity of it as well as narrated a story of how a wealthy Muslim came down from his car to join a gate man in his estate in prayer in your presence….well, the provision of Islam which made this possible is also old and we thank God it is not archaic in the sense of being abandoned for being old. And the same way you hate our provision for marriage at any age, the pagan Arabs hated the prayers you so praised.
Still on mistaking arrogance and bad behaviour for correctness, I also heard you imply that Muslims “poach” and Christians don’t. According to your claim, the Nigerian law recognizes Islam but also recognizes Christianity but Christians don’t “poach” by asking that the position of the Christian religion be part of Nigerian law. Again you are not right because you said it with much emphasis and a frowned face. This is Nigeria in which it’s Government has a public Holiday two times a week because Christians, with all due respect, could not agree on which day is Sabbath; Saturday or Sunday. This is Nigeria in which the whole period around Christmas is public holiday and you don’t “poach”? Of course you don’t, but we do just because we are saying don’t forbid US from marrying OURSELVES when WE want to and because we say the fact that you compromise your rights to follow your Bible to the Nigerian constitution does not mean we must do the same, more so when the constitution does not require that of us. We poach, we are poachers, don’t mind us!
Secondly, I advise that you, Stella, know your facts especially if you intend saying them on international television. The Child Right Act is the result of a Convention which can only be applied if it goes in line with the Constitution, so if the constitution suggested that a woman of 17 can get married and you say the Child Right Act prohibits such, then you are saying the Child Right Act is unconstitutional and should be thrown away. This is a classic case of not knowing what you are talking about and hence speaking against what you intend to speak for. Now you know why Abraham Lincoln said “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt”
Another blunder you committed because you thought exclamations can cover for points is that you claimed to have discovered hospitals where women with VVF die off. Stella, Stella, VVF is not even lethal, it does not kill. This is as ridiculous as saying you have discovered hospitals where people with Eczema are left to die. Studies, which you will not read because you are too busy taking pictures and twitting, have shown that of 100,000 births 0.4% have the challenge of VVF which is mainly a result of prolong child labour and rape. Let me show you what Dr. John Spurlock, MD Medical Director and Founder of the Continence Management Institute of the Lehigh Valley and 9 other specialists wrote about the cause of VVF and I sure this will be the first time you are reading of a disease you always speak about:
“Risk factors that predispose to VVFs include prior pelvic or vaginal surgery, previous PID, ischemia, diabetes, arteriosclerosis, carcinoma, endometriosis, anatomic distortion by uterine myomas, and infection, particularly postoperative cuff abscess”
You see my dear, one does not have to be super intelligent to speak if only he will be intelligent enough to know he has to speak only of what he knows.
My third and final advice for Stella Damasus is that it is important to follow the argument of the other side if you must engage in a debate. No one standing with Yerima is saying Nigeria is an Islamic state, no one is saying there should be sexual exploitation of children rather that which has been said is that Nigeria being a multi religious state as you claim has said it will not disturb your practice of your religion; marriage is part of religion as far as Muslims and Islam is concerned; as a matter of fact the Prophet of Islam says it is HALF of religion for the Muslims, Nigeria has said it won’t disturb, let it not disturb. It has also been said that in Islam and for Muslims when you marry is not necessarily when you have sex so marriage is anytime, sex is during maturity so where is the exploitation? If you are concerned about how we ensure this then take a breathe and ask us we will answer you.
We do hope to see women like Stella who will get all angry and vocal over the fact that women are in the market places in Nigeria selling pepper under the scourging sun with one baby on her back and two others running around at the risk of being run down by a car. We do hope to see women who will address the problem of prostitution which leaves a young girl sleeping with 10 men a night, 60-70 a week, 280 men every month and 3,360 men a year at the risk of STDs, losing her womb, permanent frigidity, HIV, and rape….but then a non-fatal disease which only occurs in less than 0.4% of child delivery and is curable is more of an issue. What an Olympic sport in hypocrisy.
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