CHILD NOT BRIDE

      I’m sure I speak for a lot of Nigerians when I say I really don’t know where we are going in this country and by now you should know that this is about the marriage age that the Senate recently approved
   Nigeria as it is has just about enough issues to deal with without bringing up paedophilia. We have been independent for more than 50 years and are pumping millions into celebrating a centenary anniversary in a few months and we do not have stable electricity, education is hanging by the thread of a thread, employment is terrible, security-no! Infrastructural development-No! Health-no! but those we have voted to use their heads and lead us have decided to use this privilege to feed their ungodly thirst by approving the amendment of a law to make brides out of our little girls
   And of course, they have a reason. Why not use Islam to back it up. This is Nigeria and here there are many religions practiced with each having the right to do so without imposing its doctrines on the believers of others religions. Therefore, it is improper and unconstitutional for this to be imposed on the over 140 million people in this nation. Even Islam is not a good enough excuse for this. Aren’t there Muslim women anymore? Have they suddenly become extinct or completely undesirable?   Or is there a new desire for the youth and the dreams and the futures of little girls that we do not know about. The Senators backing this obviously have a type and I daresay they should be ashamed to have taken part in the destruction of such young and promising lives. They are never there when the repercussions set in. They dump these girls and move on to younger, fresher prey leaving the young child battling for her life with little odds. 
   Don’t we have enough issues on child rape to fill our desks and minds and now we want to say to paedophiles that its ok to rape children as long as they plan to marry them afterwards. Everyday there is a heart wrenching story about how a young child was raped by a beast on two legs  and yet absolutely nothing is done about this, yet we want to enhance this by putting a signature  to child marriage. It is petrifying to think what Nigeria will become of this is allowed to go through.
The assent of this law will destroy all the work put in by numerous NGOs to prevent child marriages in the north. We were fighting VVF in the North and now we want to legalise the very thing we fought against. If young girls have to run from the tents of religion; will they also be forced to run from the law. If the law cannot protect Nigerians then we are indeed going nowhere. How can we have fought so hard to gain our freedom on to prevent our children from enjoying the same! Where are all those who shoud lend their voices to this? Mothers, Fathers, Activists, Lawyers, Doctors, President! This is not something that affects just one faction of the nation; if this is to become law then all our daughters, sisters, nieces, granddaughters, cousins will beprey to such. We should not be deceived into thinking that only Northerner would be subject. Things like this go around. We cannot let our kids be defiled while we sit and stare.
   Now more than ever, we need to rally round and raise our voices. We need to speak as loud as we can and ensure that we are heard. We cannot sit back and let everything be taken from us. Women cannot suffer in labour only for some rich and twisted man to come and take away our daughters to warm their beds. Let thus also be a lesson to us that the next time we vote for our leaders to take it as a task to ensure that they wouldn’t make laws to strike us where we stand. There is no one to wait for to speak for us. Our only saviour is our ability to use our voices to resist. I choose to use mine. I choose to fight this evil that these priority-devoid Senators have set in motion! I am Nigeria and I am against Child marriage! 
                                                        

                                                        ERIN SILVER
       
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