CITIZEN: Actress Omotola charges Nigerians to rise against Senate on Child Marriage
LEGISREPORTS NG – Nigerian Actress and Amnesty International Activist, Omotola Jalade Ekehinde has charged Nigerians all over the country to rise against the position of the Senate deeming marriage to minors as legal in the country.
She made the call on Saturday while delivering a speech after being presented with an award for her outstanding achievements during the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria Pageant which held in Bayelsa state.
She said: “I made it this far in life because I was not given off in marriage before I was eighteen years.
“I am disappointed that the Nigerian Senate will be make laws that encourages marriage to girls under the age of eighteen.
“I ask Nigerians to rise up and stop the bill by the Senate that makes child marriage legal.”
LEGISREPORTS recalls that the decision of the senate to stipulate 18 years and above as “full age” was challenged by Senator Yerima Ahmed, (ANPP, Zamfara), when he argued that same was in violation of the teachings of Islam.
This led to the Senate President, David Mark, to revisit clause 4 of section 29
And subject same to another round of voting.
Senators of northern extraction who were swayed by Yerima’s argument voted against the amended clause, thereby endorsing marriage to minors, one that amounts to a violation of the girl child’s rights in other parts of the world.
Yerima, who was a one-time Governor of Zamfara state, and who introduced the Sharia law which has spread across states of the north, got married to an Egyptian minor aged 13 years in 2010.
This report was prepared by our reporter in Bayelsa State.