When some things happen in Nigeria it makes you want to weep. It’s is particularly painful when we use religion as a crutch for justifying some of our actions.
Yesterday, Nigerian senators sat to deliberate on the issues of the proposed constitutional review. They treated several issues and among those issues was the subject of section 29 which deals with the manner of renunciation of citizenship.
According to the Nigerian constitution “full age” means “18 years and above” and the constitutional review committee were to address the issue of the removal of part b of the clause which states that any woman that is married shall be deemed of full age.
The senators were in full support of the removal fo the clause but one of them spoke up against the vote. Senator Yerima (former Zamfara Stage government) contended that the senate should reverse the vote seeing that the clause was in line with Islamic rites and the requirements of the constitution on marriage was valid insofar as it does not touch on Islamic requirements. Senator Yerima said a removal of the clause was unislamic.
According to the report by Channels TV
“Mr. Mark ruled that as a member of the constitution review committee, Mr. Yerima had every opportunity to have sought a review and was against the chamber’s rule in seeking an amendment while the votes were on.
Mr. Yerima insisted that under Islamic tenet, a woman is of age once married and countering that order as already stated in the constitution would be discriminatory and in violation of another section of the constitution directing the National Assembly to steer away from Islamic marriage.
“The constitution says the National Assembly shall legislate on marriage except those under Islamic rites,” said the former governor whose marriage to the teenager triggered months of controversy. “Islam says once a woman is married, she is of age.”
Mr. Mark however conceded to a second vote after other proposed amendments had been concluded, saying he had to act due to the “sensitivity” of the matter as it concerns religion.
Still, Mr. Yerima’s demand was again thrashed 60 to 35 at a repeat vote but the section could not be deleted as constitution amendments require two thirds of the entire members-73 for the Senate- for a proposal to pass.”
Watch the video of Nigerian senators at their constitutional review committee
What do you think? Is Nigeria sliding further into the abyss of dysfunction? Are we sitting idly by while child abuse is implicitly being legalized in our nation? How long are we going to use religion as a crutch for abnormalities?
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