The Issue of Child Bride

Relationships and The Nigerian Child Bride – the Tipping Point

Tags: Nigerian Child Bride, Tipping Point Categories: Relationships

This is an article sent in by one of my readers; please feel free to comment as you deem fit. Yvonne

Relationships and The Nigerian Child Bride

Tipping Point The controversial issue of the bride in Nigeria has raised a lot of dust over the past few weeks and as I watch the dust settle, I ask myself with a sinking feeling; what next?

Few months ago, I watched a brilliant presentation of the V Monologues at the Muson Center with Taiwo Ajai Lycett and an exceptionally talented cast, and came face to face with the shocking realities of the child-bride scourge. It was quite traumatic for me but then, I was just an observer at a stage play.

The real cast are the children living as bride in Northern Nigeria, a region with the highest number of vesico-vaginal fistula (VVF) and recto-vaginal fistula (RVF) cases in the entire world. You don’t know what those are? They are diseases caused by child sex and child pregnancy that cause the sufferer to urinate and/or defecate uncontrollably. The child ends up a stinking and complete mess, no longer attractive to the man who put her in that condition, and so he searches for another. In the play I watched, even the girl’s mother could not bear to be near her. The child was ostracised to solitary confinement in an outer part of the living quarters, far removed from decency, and there she wept, sitting in her own waste.

A lot of people have said and done a lot of things about this issue. Hannatu Musawa’s piece titled Stolen Lives, the passionate video chastisement by Stella Damasus, and the brilliant intellectual article ‘Senator Yerima And Constitutional Review’ written by Maryam Uwais MFR along with other pockets of child-centric actions are very encouraging. In the face of all this however, Senator Ahmed Yerima the principal actor with respect to this issue has calmly said to Nigerians, ‘you can do nothing’. I’m almost afraid that he might be proved right. So what do we do then?

In civilised countries, constituents can send strong messages to their representatives in the Lower and Upper Houses and say, ‘this is what we want you to do’. One can petition one’s Senator and get them to take a stand on a particular issue. I have however discovered that this is where my failing starts. I only just found out what my Senatorial District is and who the Senator for my District is, and I had to task Google relentlessly to get that information. Despite what I found out, there is no contact information whatsoever and even if there was, would I hop on the next plane and go to the National Assembly Complex in Abuja and announce, ‘I am here to see my Senator’ and expect to be allowed in?

How does it work in this country of ours? Where do we start from? At what point can we make the totality of our voices heard to the point where it matters; where it matters to the child bride? At what point do our leaders in the Senate and House of Representatives get to the point where they know that they are truly accountable to the people they represent? Is it not at the point where we make them realise it without a shadow of doubt; when our voices achieve critical mass; when we get to the tipping point?

I’ve decided to point the finger back at myself and add to the groundswell of public dissent. Somehow, I will send a message to my Senator now that I know who he is. I believe that as many as can lift their voices to scream out against it should continue to do so until the noise becomes so loud that our leaders in the Senate will have no choice but to hear it and act accordingly. Add yours until we reach the tipping point, for the Nigerian child bride.

Kayode Fasanya Lagos, Nigeria

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Yvonne – Relationships Editor

Love Sex and Marriage for the Believer

I am grateful and very humbled that God enlisted me to write on this very important segment of life.I hope it empowers, uplifts and brings Divine healing to your lives, bodies and minds, as well as to your homes in Jesus name, Amen! Feel free to drop me an email anytime! God bless you and happy reading! Yvonne Chinonye Onokah – Relationships Editor

Yvonne, who is a true worshipper and is completely in love with God, writes from TREM International Headquarters, Lagos. Twitter handle:@yvieprincess Email: yvonneonokah@gmail.com

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