Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Age Marriage Blunder: The Facts and the Bullshit


Here are the facts of the senate proceedings in question:

1. The topic voted on in the senate was not, “age of marriage,” as it has been made to appear.
2. The presentation by senator Yerima, was not, the age a woman should marry.
3. 35 Nigerian senators who voted against the deletion of the segment, did not vote for age of marriage, rather they voted to uphold women’s unaleniable rights, even over men.
4. Senator Yerima did not introduce any thing new, rather he simply pointed out in upholding Nigeria’s constitution, that segments can not simply be deleted without proper vote and due process.
5. And finally, underlined: the segment to be deleted threatened to deprive women of their rights.

We proceed to review the section 29 of the constitution that was to be deleted without proper process:

Citizenship renunciation Rights

(1) Any citizen of Nigeria of full age who wishes to renounce his Nigerian citizenship shall make a declaration in the prescribed manner for the renunciation.

(2) The President shall cause the declaration made under subsection (1) of this section to be registered and upon such registration, the person who made the declaration shall cease to be a citizen of Nigeria.

(3) The President may withhold the registration of any declaration made under subsection (1) of this section if-

(a) the declaration is made during any war in which Nigeria is physically involved; or

(b) in his opinion, it is otherwise contrary to public policy.

(4) For the purposes of subsection (1) of this section.

(a) “full age” means the age of eighteen years and above;

(b) any woman who is married shall be deemed to be of full age.

It is immediately seen from the above, that the section deals with conditions under which a Nigerian citizen is considered eligible to make a declaration to revoke his citizenship.  “full  age” to denounce/revoke/renounce Nigerian citizenship is used in reference to being allowed to make decisions, including this revocation. For both sexes, “full age” is 18 and above, however according to this section of the constitution, a woman is given greater and exclusive rights and authority, being regarded of “full age” to make decisions as serious as the revocation of her citizenship, once she is married.

When we think of what the Nigerian feminist forum created a petition to contest, it is very scary. They acted “hormonally,” without even taking a read of the constitutional segment in discussion. This constitutional permission, actually safe-guards women’s rights by allowing for instance, a married woman or girl, who feels cheated or otherwise deprived by Nigeria, the right to denounce her citizenship. This section is not related to and does not address what age a woman can marry.

It simply addresses what age a woman is eligible to make full fledgeling decisions, which of course can include divorce. If this section was deleted, then if for instance a 16 year old is married, she will not be considered “of age,” to challenge the marriage in court, or to revoke her citizenship if she wishes to seek asylum  via the United Nations, or to any single citizenship nation. Such married young woman will have to wait and bear the pain till she is 18.

Senator Yerima had pointed out, that in Islam, once a woman is married, she is automatically of age to make all adult life decisions, including the right to divorce, this is as obtains in Nigeria’s constitution. Only the 35 senators listed below, voted to uphold these fundamental women’s rights of age unlimited choice, including the choice to denounce citizenship:
List of senators who upheld a woman’s right of choice once married

1. Sen. Abdulmumin M. Hassan (Jigawa South West, PDP)
2. Sen. Abdullahi Danladi (Jigawa North West, PDP)
3. Sen. Adamu Abdullahi (Nasarawa West, PDP)
4. Sen. Ahmed Barata (Adamawa South, PDP)
5. Sen. Akinyelure Ayo (Ondo Central, Labour Party)
6. Sen. Alkali Saidu A. (Gombe North, PDP)
7. Sen. Bagudu Abubakar A. (Kebbi Central, PDP)
8. Sen. Dahiru Umaru (Sokoto South, PDP)
9. Sen. Galaudu Isa (Kebbi North, PDP)
10. Sen. Garba Gamawa (Bauchi North, PDP)
11. Sen. Danjuma Goje Mohammed (Gombe Central, PDP)
12. Sen. Gobir Ibrahim (Sokoto East, PDP)
13. Sen. Gumba Adamu Ibrahim (Bauchi South, PDP)
14. Sen. Hadi Sirika (Katsina North, CPC)
15. Sen. Ibrahim Bukar Abba (Yobe East, ANPP)
16. Sen. Jajere Alkali (Yobe South, ANPP)
17. Sen. Jibrilla Mohammed (Adamawa North, PDP)
18. Sen. Kabiru Gaya (Kano South, ANPP)
19. Sen. Lafiagi Mohammed (Kwara North, PDP)
20. Sen. Lawan Ahmad (Yobe North, ANPP)
21. Sen. Maccido Mohammed (Sokoto North, PDP)
22. Sen. Musa Ibrahim (Niger North, CPC)
23. Sen. Ndume Mohammed Ali (Borno South, PDP)
24. Sen. Sadiq A. Yaradua (Katsina Central, CPC)
25. Sen. Saleh Mohammed (Kaduna Central, CPC)
26. Sen. Tukur Bello (Adamawa Central, PDP)
27. Sen. Ugbesia Odion (Edo Central, PDP)
28. Sen. Umar Abubakar (Taraba Central, PDP)
29. Sen. Usman Abdulaziz (Jigawa North East, PDP)
30. Sen. Ya’au Sahabi (Zamfara North, PDP)
31. Sen. Zannah Ahmed (Borno Central, PDP)
32. Sen. Ahmad Rufai Sani (Zamfara West, ANPP)
33. Sen. Ahmad Abdul Ningi (Bauchi Central, PDP)
34. Sen. Bello Hayatu Gwano (Kano North, PDP)
35. Sen. Ibrahim Abu (Katsina South, CPC)

Culled from NEWSRESCUE


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