THE BLAME IS ON US (THE ISSUE OF CHILD BRIDES IN NIGERIA)
For the first time I feel like if I can take a back seat while others do the talking and most of the agitation. It really is true… Nigerians only speak up when the issue at hand affects them personally and cannot be ignored anymore. I am surprisingly not worried about the future of the girl child with relations to the new bill that Yerima is proposing. He stuck his hands too far into his buttocks when he decided to legalize a culture that has been in practice even before he was born by bringing it to the attention of Nigerians, especially in a media age like today where news spreads round the world in seconds… literally! Everyone is a bit more careful with utterances and actions.
Honestly I am surprised at most of us Nigerians. We cannot claim that we are not aware of the core northern/Fulani culture that allow underage marriage because it is pretty normal to them. While I was at the university in Nasarawa state, I knew a cattle man who had numerous wives; one of whom was a young girl who couldn’t have been more than 15 years of age. By the time I was in 300 level she already had one small child strapped to her and another one learning to walk while holding on tight to her wrapper. It was the norm. It wasn’t unusual; we were used to sights like this. I pitied the women, because I couldn’t even fathom my life being like theirs in any way or form but they were okay with it because to them there was no other choice, no option out of the chains that they had been bound to by circumstance of birth. We simply had more luck to be born in better cultures where such things were abhorred.
Yerima already has an underage wife; people screamed and shouted but after a while we all stopped talking. Now we are screaming, raving and panting, because he wants to legalize under age marriage. He wants to put responsibilities on children whose worries should be how to fit in at their schools not how to please their husband or which political parties they should vote for. Yerima speaks from a culture that is usual to him. He was born in an environment where such things are normal, so to him he does not understand why the rest of Nigeria is trying to pull his head from his body because he is proposing to legalize it.
Why blame Yerima, why don’t we blame ourselves. We abuse the power of choice given to us and elect illiterate, selfish, greedy and sadistic perverts whose only reason for lawmaking is to force everyone to follow their ideology. We put Yerima in that seat; we gave him the power to do the things that he is doing today. I am one those people who have always said that Nigerians have to be some of the most laid back and misinformed electorates I have ever seen. We vote on the spur of the moment, wowed by catchy adverts and the buoyant smiles of thieves who are desperate to convince us that their lives can be ours someday if we believe enough to entrust them with the right to leadership. We fail to do any research on the past achievements and life of these politicians we are voting into power. We know nothing about their personalities; the traits in them that we can identify with, the quirks that make them thick, the compassion that make them lovable. We see nothing of these features in our politicians, yet we choose to give the right of our choice to vote credible leaders to greedy thieves who are themselves misguided in their agenda for democratic governance!
There are lots of Yerimas’ in the country. Leaders under performing except in areas that glorify their image and put them in a good position to win re-election. The perplexing situation here is that despite all their gross misappropriation of funds and lack of efficiency while in government, we are willing to vote them back into power for as many times as they eligible to contest.
This is on us! It is our fault that things are not right in this country, we groan and talk when we don’t get what we want but when it comes for us to play our part in securing an economy that is self-sufficient we are simply too lazy to take part or care, believing that there are others who are more willing to take up our fights. The struggle against enslaving young women into slavery in the name of marriage started a long time ago. We simply didn’t care because it didn’t concern us and as long as it didn’t affect our loved ones those involved could do what they want.
So I take a different approach, I do not criticize Yerima because even if he clearly needs spiritual cleansing I blame not him but the electorates who voted him into power, I blame the masses who turned a blind eye to the plight of those around us and I thank Yerima because his foolish act of selfishness and a source of public embarrassment to Nigeria has finally pushed us hard enough to fight back against an evil that has been staring us in the eye for decades.
Be wise my friends, there is always something we can do even when it seems like our efforts are so minute it won’t matter. There will never be credible candidates during election but instead of voting for just any party why don’t you give your vote to the best among the worst, that way you are voting for the least of all the presentable evil.
Yerima has shown us that there is so much wrong with this country that has to be corrected, if we legalize the marriage of underage brides then the sky is the limit for every politician with a ‘kinky sexual fantasy or perverse desire’ that he wants to see legalized.
Karl Marx was right, there is only so much that masses can talk before they are forced to retaliate to protect what is theirs. Sign the petition against child brides in Nigeria and lend your voice to a change that is desperately needed.
Click here to sign the petition against legitimization of child brides in Nigeria and to find out more about the fight against child brides around the world go to http://www.girlsnotbrides.org/