#BringBackOurGirls issues warning to Northern Leaders

By Amako Nneji October 21, 2015 11:22

#BringBackOurGirls issues warning to Northern Leaders

A representative of Bring Back Our Girls Group, Aisha Yesufu has warned northern leaders to desist from the habit of marrying teenage girls if the nation must actualize its dream of protecting the girl child.

Aisha who made the charge at a two-day national conference on the social protection of the girl child, in Abuja bemoaned that it was needless for leaders to pose as protectors of the girl child if their action tells the opposite.

The Former Governor of Central Bank and Emir of Kano Muhammadu Sanusi II, 54, in September married Sa’adatu Barkindo-Musdafa, 18, the daughter of the Lamido of Adamawa, Muhammadu Barkindo-Musdafa.

The 18-year old becomes the Emir’s fourth wife. She had recently completed secondary school and is reportedly been enrolled for advanced level studies.

In addition to his first wife, Sadiya, who is the daughter of the late emir of Kano, Ado Bayero, Sanusi has two other wives — Maryam and Rakiya.

The marriage attracted a barrage of criticism from social commentators who condemned the action exhibited by Sanusi.

A visibly angry Aisha during the event hit hard on Sanusi, adding that the culture which permits polygamy should not be abused by any one, especially role models in society.

      “If we keep saying something and doing the opposite, it makes no sense”.

“If we are saying that we want to protect the girl child, and want her to go to school; then our leaders should not be seen marrying girls who are still in school,” she said.

“A situation whereby someone already has three wives, and then goes to marry a girl who is 30 years his junior, because he is a leader; what does that say to other girls her age?” she queried.

She added that the society should treat as paedophiles men who marry girls in their early teens just because they feel capable of ensuring medical treatment that might sustain her health.

Earlier, the regional director, Ford Foundation; Africa, Innocent Chukwuma, said a 2012 report by the United Nations populations’ fund forecasts that at least 150 million girls will be married before attaining the age of 18, if current trend continues.

    “Perhaps one of the starkest examples is manifest by the nearly 10 million girls who are married every year,” Mr. Chukwuma said.