Senator and former Governor Ahmed Sani, the Yerima Bakura, has finally had his way. The Nigerian Senate has bowed to his will and agreed to be silent about the age that young girls can get married in Nigeria. What this means once it is followed through and enshrined in our laws and Constitution is that girls that are as young as nine years old, provided they are deemed as having been ”physically developed enough” by their suitors, could be lawfully bedded and married in our country. That is the sordid level that we have now, as a people and as a nation, degenerated to. I weep for Nigeria and, perhaps more appropiately, I weep for the Nigerian girl-child. Yet we have no choice but to live with this new reality and to accept it as it is. After all, our representatives in the sacred halls of the Senate were not sensitive enough or ”man enough” to shoot down the whole thing, to stand firmly against the unholy agenda and to say boldly and firmly that, ”come what may”, our children must be protected from sexual deviants and reprobates.
The Anglican Church in Nigeria has called for capital punishment for members of the Boko Haram sect. The Bishop of Kubwa Diocese, Rt. Rev Duke Akamisoko, said this in an interview with SUNDAY PUNCH on the sidelines of a press briefing to herald the forthcoming Synod meeting of the Church. According to him, until President Goodluck Jonathan mustered the courage and political will to deal with the people behind the group, the killings will not stop.
For quite a while since he wisely recoiled to his cocoon after his prolonged trial for allegedly sponsoring Boko Haram insurgency, Senator Ali Ndume has been out of the news camera lens, presumably to avoid undue controversy. When the Chairman, Senate Committee on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), however, eventually decided to bow to the pressure from our correspondent, ADETUTU FOLASADE-KOYI, for this no-holds-barred interview, he spares no words on excessive powers of the governors. He raises the alarm that they are already arming militia groups for 2015 election. Excerpts:
Prominent Northern leaders have dismissed as invalid and of no effect whatsoever, an alleged deal between President Goodluck Jonathan and some leading Islamic scholars aimed at ensuring his success in the 2015 presidential election.
Serving senator and former governor of Zamfara State, Ahmed Sani Yerima, yesterday amplified his support for early marriage when he stated that he could give out his six-year-old daughter in marriage, if need be. Yerima had on Tuesday successfully prevented an amendment to the second part of Section 22 of the constitution by the Senate, which dwells on affirming someone as of age once the person is married, though the person could be lower than 18 years in age. Yerima, who came under attacks in 2011 for allegedly getting married to a 13-yearold girl, yesterday replied his critics who have been lampooning him for promoting marriage for the under-age.
The undercurrents in the PDP ahead of the 2015 presidential race played out on a grand scale yesterday in Abeokuta with President Goodluck Jonathan, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Governors Murtala Nyako (Adamawa State), Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Aliyu Wamako (Sokoto) and Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano) as dramatis personae. President Jonathan and the governors were on separate appointments with Obasanjo at his Hilltop residence but the state chief executives, who are not on the best of terms with the president, avoided contact with him all through their stay in Abeokuta. All the four voted for Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State in the recent election of Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), shunning Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State who was President Jonathan’s candidate.