Opinion: Child marriage to gay rights – One good law deserves another

by Caleb Iniolu

House-of-Reps-members1

If we as Nigerians want to start making laws based on religion, then our constitution can as well be set aside. We can then turn the Quran/Bible into our constitution.

Foreword: Senator Yerima has stated he will not respect any law that contravenes his religious beliefs. I suppose rational minds can only but wonder how then he’s serving as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria if he can decide which law to obey and which one to ignore.

Senator Ahmed Yerima threw so many tantrums on the Senate floor last week, so much the Senate President, David Mark, for fear of a possible upheaval, called for a 2nd vote (albeit unusual an initial vote had cleared the bill to be deleted). The 2nd round of vote which came about as a result of Senator Yerima’s arguments on the grounds of religion – Islam – had 35 other senators queuing up behind him. With 60 against, the needed 2/3 majority could not be secured as was earlier achieved.

Which bill are we even talking about? It’s none other than the now infamous “Child Marriage” Bill. The bill, though originally borders on citizenship, has a callous provision under which ANY girl can be married off at any tender age before 18.

When a law is made solely on the premise of religious rights as claimed by Senator Yerima and his 35 supporting senators, then there is perhaps no reason Not To pass a law made on the premise of human rights as well. Cue in; gay rights.

Let’s pause here and revisit the religious angle. Nigeria is a secular state. This means our lawmaking is guided by healthy consideration of all variables at play; religious, cultural, social, economic but most importantly; common sense, which is by the way not so common. This probably explains the condition of Nigeria today; lack of common sense, coupled with excess hypocrisy.

As a secular state, Nigeria has to strike a balance between different variables before making a law. Consequently, our lawmaking should be based on conscience to enact laws that APPLY to the generality or majority of Nigerians as at the time the law is being made. NB: that it worked in the 60s or worse still, for our ancestors should not be a yard stick in today’s setting; rather the unique situations surrounding today’s existence.

If we as Nigerians want to start making laws based on religion, then our constitution can as well be set aside. We can then turn the Quran/Bible into our constitution. But then, we can be rest assured we will suffer worse fate at the hand of majority of our so-called religious leaders who will translate purely on self-serving basis.

Back to religious and human rights. If this law is passed and the female child can marry and get intimate as it were, then respecting human rights to association and freedom of expression as per gay rights will also have to be granted. After all, it’s no longer about common sense and general societal acceptance in Nigerian law making. Added to this, the government is crying out more by every passing day that it’s under intense pressure from the international community to pass such an alien law as gay rights.

This is the interesting part, because the female child will no longer be the victim but the male child will as well be at risk.

The result; just as the 6 year old girl can marry and get intimate, same can, and will apply to your 6 year old boy; this on the premise that gay rights are granted and the laws reviewed to address gender-age equality. What is good for the geese is also good for the gander. Isn’t t?

FYI; I’m as straight as it gets so do not confuse this for supporting gay rights. Just to point out that if gay rights are not acceptable because it is inconsistent with the psyche of the generality of Nigerians, a 6 year old BABY should not have her life ruined by adults who have failed to appreciate the beauty of fully formed ladies; nay, women.

The 6 year old girl still needs to play with her mates; in the sand, on the swings, get quality education, experience the diversities of this world by interacting with people and not to see the four walls of a husband’s house as the beginning and end of her existence.

The most insulting thing by Senator Yerima is this; while a 6 year old girl can be married, the husband is duty bound not to get intimate with her until she comes of age. What exactly does it mean to COME OF AGE? And who decides when she’s come of age? When she turns 9?

Senator Yerima also says the BABY bride has a right to refuse intercourse until that time she comes of age, he finishes with a joke; rape is not acceptable under Islamic law unlike the English law. Now, the joke here isn’t to say Islam recognises rape, but to state English law condones rape.

I wonder how a 6 year old bride is expected to say ‘No’ to her 40, 50 something year old ‘husband’. I wonder how a 6 year old bride is to report she’s been raped by her grand-pa husband, bearing fully in mind that under Islamic law, the testimony of a woman is only worth half of a man.

For now, I rest my case and hope Sodom and Gomorrah are not considered to have been ‘learners’ when Nigeria’s story is told decades from now

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Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

Comments (8)

  1. Senator yerima is a DEVIL INCARNATE and deserves to be hanged for saying such. What other way can we define the word “child abuse or molestation”? As for you JOSH, i’m sure you have water as replacement for a brain since you’re mum was not matured enough before she gave birth to you. I’m sure you’re one of those boko haram claiming to be a christian. I pity ur stupidity

  2. That Senator Yerima of a person is a whole fool , I wonder why animals like him should be a member of senate house of a Federation, If God did not make you Yerima and your all supporters Suffer and be disgraced for this Ungodly Islamic Law demand, that you want to drag into a Nation Mixed with Higher population of Christians. I'm never against Islam, but must stand and oppose this Evil Law , This is a National Issue that concerns all Nigerians , and Islamic Law cannot be introduced into the Laws Guiding the Federation at large , unless the South East South South are not regarded as Nigerian or that we're not Nigerians , but if we are one Nigeria as claimed Federalism, we should maintain the Law of Colonist and practice the Real International Human Right and and Laws , Nigeria is never a Muslim Nation and the Islamic Laws should not be introduced into our National Assembly mixed with 2 different regions to guide us , I can openly see the reason why the northern politicians keep opposing the creation of New States in the Southern Part of the Country so that their high vetos will be getting more votes, any Official who is observing his or her Religions Law in national polyandry should step down and resign for a True Democracy , the Nigerian National Assembly shouldn't be a place where you tell us Islamic Laws and Christians Laws… and never a Religion Cabinet or Religion Assembly , This is National Assembly , and Nigeria is never any Islamic Nation Unless the Southern States and east are not regarded as Nigeria………. We therefore call for Yerima and all his Supporters to please resign from the Senate House… Animals and Cannibals in our Upper House Assembly , because Breeders soon rots on hell Fire.

  3. plz dont try to tell us ur sexuality, it not needed in this aspect. besides, u didn’t need to be a child girl to speak out. ur sexuality shouldn’t determine ur decision for justice. thats the only problem I got with the writer.

  4. @josh u are an idiot! Read the fine print before u post comments, dis same law states dat girls of all ages can be cald matured once they are married off, in other words u are in support of babies being married off from the moment they learn how to crawl abi?so u’re saying its ok to rob a mere child of her innocence nd right to an education just to satisfy the barbaric lust of leeches like u? my advice, look up the meaning of the word paedophile before u parade ur ignorance on a public forum.

  5. I am a Christian I must say Yerima is not the problem,the problem is the societal values of today,why is it that marriage can only be viewed from the angle of sex? So are we saying the man that trained our lord Jesus Christ is a pedophile,Or God in his infinite wisdom chose a little girl like Mary and put a baby inside her,so God is also a Pedophile abi? Women are sex objects in the world of today please,this fact is reinforced everyday through music videos and all the movies we watch,all ye people,Yerima is not the problem,we all are,in fcat I respect a man like Yerima that would rather marry a girl than rape and take away the innocence of a girl out of wedluck,we have read about a ton of pastors that have done the that and are walking around scotfree! You people should fight our real problem,corruption!! And maybe our country will be better for it! If your religion permits u to marry at any age or of any age pls by all means do ya thing,as long as u do it right! My mother gave birth to me a teenager,should term my father a pedophile!?? Lol

  6. I don’t there’s any hope 4 d masses especially d teenagers imagine a father saying it publicly that a girl of 9 years has come of age 4 marriage wahalai that man yerima is under a spell, when he had been destroying under age girls life n go scotfree,why won’t he be bold to utter barbaric statement justifying himself the holy book we av to fight against dis to d core bcos God is against it.

  7. The world is ruled by the ideology of dead men.dead in their sense to know the good from the bad.The percentage of the dead in leadership positions decide the path that nation will follow.God save Nigeria.

  8. Yerima is jst full of shit,Dat Law will only work in d north dough

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