More condemnations have continued to trail the Senate endorsement of the child marriage in the country.
Among prominent Nigerians and groups that kicked against the resolution were the Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Prof. Modupe Adelabu; wife of the Oyo State Governor, Florence Ajimobi; Gender and Development Action and Child Rights Advocates and a United States-based group, CANAN.
Adelabu, in a statement by her media aide, Bunmi Ogunmodede, said the resolution of the Senate was unfortunate.
According to her, it is unfortunate that those saddled with the responsibility to make laws that would guarantee the future of the country, passed a motion to mortgage the future the Nigerian child. She wondered what guided the lawmakers in to legalize child marriage when the constitution recognized those below 18 years as children.
The deputy governor said, “It is unfortunate that senators who were voted for to make laws that will move this nation forward are endorsing child marriage, a law that would terminate the future of children. “It is agonizing for a girl, who is below 18 years to be forced into marriage or to be impregnated. A child is a child and not a bride or a groom.”
She added, “Do not let anybody deceive you. Early marriage terminates your future. It is like living your future in the present. It stalls your opportunities. Say no to child marriage and child labour.” Ajimobi said the proposal would pose a great danger to the Nigerian girl and urged women to protest against the initiative.
She spoke during her investiture as the Patron of the Girls Guide of Nigeria in Ibadan. She said, “Those who voted for the child marriage law under the review of the constitution acted in a despicable way. It is a backward step.
“Since time immemorial, the girl-child has continued to face a lot of challenges and the challenges persist. “We must focus diligently in rescuing her in the danger that looms as it could finally affect her if we fold our arms and watch events unfold”.
CANAN through its Executive Director, Laolu Akande said it found it strange that Nigerian lawmakers took such a decision.
The group said, “It is shocking that we can find a significant number of the Nigerian Upper Chamber Lawmakers that are so uneducated and uninformed, and at least one that is currently keeping an underage wife.”
GADA at a meeting with state legislators on ‘Gender Issues in the Constitution Review Process,’ in Benin, said the senators’ action negated the tenets of the international treaties that Nigeria entered into.