There is this name on every lip. The name became so relevant to every discussion and writes up people might confuse it for the name of the most powerful man in the world. Only that in this case, the name does not belong to a ‘super’, not to talk of the end part ‘star’ which explains a famous person. A major issue most parents and concerned people have with the personality behind the name is the notion he preached on the floor of the senate to keep the law that seal, sign and deliver child marriage, just that it doesn’t directly mean child marriage, but encourages a legal atmosphere for child marriage. I wonder what mothers would do to him, was he available to them to be handled on the day of the protest, maybe eat him life without seasoning his stew source? Stella Damasus did close to that I tell you, if words were sword, she would have pierced into several skins of those in the legislative house.
Thank God some people were quick enough to give their opinion on the issues surrounding the controversial sub-section. As our interpreters, with the power of their pen, they have been able to re-interpret this sub-section. On this note, I write to second their motions;
- That no reading was done to legalize child marriage.
- That the reading only revisited the law that was initially proposed for the recycle bin.
- That certain call came from certain quarters to keep this section 29, subsections 4b instead of expunging it because it appeal to their religion.
- That the section above is about renunciations of Nationality and has nothing to do with child marriage. Only that it didn’t warn men to stay off minors. And that Article 61 second Schedule also denies the government power to legislate on marriages under Islamic law and customary law; this to me is the real culprit.
- That not all senators could be called pedophile; some simply don’t just know the right from the left. According to the senator from Ondo Central senatorial district, a man who in tears explained his confusion. He voted wrongly because (a) his voting “NO” was in clear error of misrepresentation and (b) voting was done electronically. If voting were to be done by show of hands, he would have been able to correct his error.
This name, I may not be permitted to mention more than once in this article because of what I dread. In the book Harry Porter; Lord Voldemort’s name was replaced with epithets such as ‘You-Know-Who’ and ‘He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named’ because it was believed mentioning his name could invoke havoc. This name is ‘Senator Yerima’, but because I fear the name may encourage sex maniacs or under age marriage, I will replace it with the epithet Senator ‘Do-You-Know-Him’ in this write-up.
On Wednesday, during the AIT ‘ Kakaaki the African Voice’ show, Senator ‘Do-You-Know-Him’ was a guest, invited to talk about his move to keep the controversial law, sec 29, sub-sec 4b and to defend his place on underage marriage. He defended while I paraphrase:
- Age is but a number and should not be a barrier to marriage.
- On the age to be considered as matured, he refused to answer that question. He also argued that even the developed countries are reducing the age they peg on maturity from 18years to about 16 years old, so no one should dictate to Nigerians.
- The meaning of child marriage is marrying a girl who is not matured or who is not at puberty.
- Claimed maturity, according to his religion is not based on age but looks and size.
- That he follows his religion hook, line and sinker. When a religion says it’s white then it is white, no looking to the right or left.
- That according to his religion, maturity is when a girl is tall, blown up, with all the attributes of a ready woman.
- That he married his first wife at age 16, and married his daughters out at age 15 and 16.
- That one of his married daughter is 21 with two kids and another 20 years with three kids and another to be married this year at a very minor age.
- That it is about religion, he is a religious man, and he follows the Holy Book strictly.
- That statistics show Americans and people in other developed countries marry their teenagers out but do not have high cases of VVF; that we have such rise in VVF in Nigeria, not because of early marriages but because of our bad health care system.
After hearing the arguments of Senator ‘Do-You-Know-Him’, I began to ask questions. I think I am more confused than before. Is this man a Senator, and more importantly, is he a father? Can this man be more religious than others that he claims to strictly adhere to the provisions of his religion that encourages, according to him, child marriage, even when he is supposedly learned to know the legal, moral and health implications? With the thinking pattern of Senator ‘Do-You-Know-Him’ and his perspectives, I am wondering if he deserves to be part of the crew to make decision that affects you and me.
What is this man thinking and what does he want?
Who really is this man? A law maker or an evil maker?