Not always do we see a prominent Nigerian telling our story as is.
Yesterday, I read two different stories about northeast Nigeria. One says life is back to normalcy in Maiduguri highlighting this with people jubilating at a wedding ceremony having fun and celebrating life. This is a great news to see that peace is returning at last.
Who doesn’t love good news? In a country like ours, there is something that I have found more comforting than short-term good news as I am aware there are some underline issues that must be dealt with strategically for sustainable improvement. This is why I found Aliko Dangote and Bono appeal right step forward.
The first twenty-two seconds of this video highlights a very important issue that is prevalent in the north; child marriage.
Bono expressed his surprise seeing a nine year old child bride and Alhaji Dangote also reminded him of a 15 year old girl who recently gave birth.
Even as a Nigerian, I still feel shocked whenever this comes up, maybe our men can live with this insanity but how on earth can a mother, a grandmother allow this cycle of abuse to continue is beyond my understanding.
How could we ever get out of this rot if Nigeria has two different rules regarding appropriate age limit for marriage – south is 18 years old and north? That one changes with the weather, some say it’s 12 but as we can see here it is nine.
Can one even call a union involving a nine year old girl marriage?
I believe that the northeast issue affects the whole of the country, I believe everyone is feeling the effect. For one, the number of beggars is increasing by the day in the south.
I also believe that this is a huge threat to the country and international communities if the displaced people did not receive needed help so they can ease in to normalcy of life before crime is the only way out.
However, this fundamental issue of child abuse aka child-bride that Nigeria has refused to deal with effectively needs our leaders’ attention, I mean women leaders. Stripping up childhood from people is human right abuse.
I hear people talk about high poverty rate in the north, this is unfortunate, however, how is that going to ever end when girls aren’t allowed to be children and be educated so they can at least make a decision on their own accord?