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“I want a divorce because I want to go to school” – 17 year old girl Cries Out

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A 17-year-old girl, Fatima B., has appealed to the Niger Child Right Protection Agency to dissolve her one-month-old marriage.

Fatima, who is married to 35-year-old Salihu M., told the agency on Tuesday in Minna, that she was no more in love with her husband, a resident of Shaba Legbo village in Gbako Local Government Area of the state.

She pleaded with the agency to dissolve her marriage to enable her further her education.

“I was given in marriage to Salihu by my family, who thought I will have a better life with him. I do not want this marriage; I do not love this man. I want a divorce because I want to go to school and it is only when I am divorced that I can return to school,” she said.

In his response, Salihu said that he married his wife legally, and with the consent of her family.

He said that his wife’s uncle, S. Mustapha gave her to him in marriage after she consented.

“At first, my wife was happy with the marriage until she suddenly changed her mind and opted for a divorce. I still love my wife and I want to spend my life with her, but if she wants a divorce, I have no objection. I cannot force her to remain in the union,” he said.

Halilu Shaba, the District Head of Shaba Legbo, in his reaction, told the agency that parents in the community were fond of forcing their children into early marriage.

“Some also send their children to become house-maids, thereby denying them the opportunity to go to school,” he said.

He commended the agency for its intervention, adding that such step would serve as deterrent to parents.

The Director-General of the agency, Maryam Kolo, commended Fatima for the courage to seek for divorce, and gave both families a two-week ultimatum within which to dissolve the marriage.

“If you fail to do so within the two weeks, the agency will file for divorce on behalf of the girl in a Sharia Court,” she said.

Kolo warned parents and community leaders against forcing children into early marriage thereby denying them the opportunity to acquire western education.

She said that early marriage had many disadvantages including the risk of Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF) diseases.

Kolo advised other girls to emulate Fatima’s bravery and report similar matters to the agency.

Photo Credit: Sdeva | Dreamstime.com

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria in May 1976 to gather and distribute news on Nigeria and cover events of interest to Nigeria at the international level for the benefit of the Nigerian Media and the Public.

13 Comments

  1. Omalicha

    March 8, 2017 at 2:01 am

    I’ll be doing womanhood a great disservice by not commenting on this post. First of all say no to early girl child marriage. At this stage the girl in question, is still trying to figure out herself and can’t even add the burden of figuring out another human to hers. And Her husband said she loved her?? Lol… I really found that hilarious. So heres my question Mr. Lover husband. In what way was the poor girl physiologically and mentally prepared for the marriage she was coerced into? The fact that a young girl has wide hips and full breasts doesn’t mean that she is automatically ready for marriage. How about her mental growth, emotional growth and stability? Enough of our young girls being sold out in marriage for cheap money dome selfish uncles and others would enjoy!!!. She’s still a kid.. c’mon! Let’s put an end to this menace. Let’s protect our young girls. Marriage shouldn’t take away their childhood. Life has got more to offer our young girls.

  2. Lol

    March 8, 2017 at 2:02 am

    Good for her! She is a girl that has dreams and hopes. Funny thing is she might end up being a doctor or engineer or have the brains for it. But her parents will sell her of to a man that can only make tea or indomie bf egg for a living.

    • FasholasLover

      March 8, 2017 at 3:06 am

      All hail queen Fatima B.
      I like girls with guts. This world is too tough not to have guts to get up and go.
      @Lol, your last sentence cracked me up “But her parents will sell her of to a man that can only make tea or indomie bf egg for a living.” Crazy stupid tradition.

  3. jessica

    March 8, 2017 at 4:12 am

    I admire Salihu M to accept the divorce without hesitation. But who sponsors the girl’s education to be studied.And if govt takes responsibility it is good.

    • keke driver

      March 8, 2017 at 9:14 am

      Admire what exactly?? did He not see His mates to get married to? After searching for a wife He decided to get married to a 17 year old and you’re here admiring him.

  4. Shao

    March 8, 2017 at 4:24 am

    I’m so saddened by this arranged marriage and child bride issue. When will it end?????

    We need a northern leader that is 21st century enough to abolish this tradition (also in other parts of Nigeria and the world).

    At that age a girl has just started realising her dreams and her goals in life and then off she goes to be molested every day by some older man…..every day…….every day…..every day. It’s sooooo sad thinking about it.

    When I was a child, my dad’s friend sexually harassed me (I was smart enough to escape before it got to penetration phase). I remember being zombie-like for the most of the coming months and I wallowed in this new low that had become my life. I suffered alone since I could not tell anyone…..no one would understand anyways…….. Now imagine how these child brides feel…. every day…….every day…..every day ?????

  5. mama zam

    March 8, 2017 at 4:42 am

    But the marriage is void albinitio! It will not be recognised as a marriage under the law to start with hence the question of divorce shouldn’t arise. Let the girl take a walk….

    • Anon

      March 8, 2017 at 5:43 am

      Sorry Hun do you think there’s a minimum legal marriage age in Nigeria? Lmaoooo no such thing as the man hasn’t commited any crime. A man can marry a 6 month old child if he so pleases. We need to evaluate our obsession with the most harmful religious interpretations in Nigeria. If it harms us then we obsessively gravitate towards it. Christianity is as bad too. Both believers seriously need to have an evaluation, especially concerning their treatment of women and how these religions enable inequality.

    • Iris

      March 8, 2017 at 6:23 am

      Huh? I’m guessing you’re not Nigerian.

  6. Pink

    March 8, 2017 at 7:01 am

    she was NO MORE in love with her husband, I’ve always wondered why Nigerians say NO MORE. Is it direct translation from a certain language

  7. Honestina

    March 8, 2017 at 8:47 am

    Brave girl, and a sensible child abuser. Hope he means what he said about not forcing her to remain in the Union.

  8. Ghostmode

    March 8, 2017 at 11:47 am

    I’m happy she was able to speak up. Is there a way for us to help create more awareness to encourage these girls speak up. Maybe links to an existing NGO we can volunteer with?

  9. tunmi

    March 9, 2017 at 3:51 am

    Thank you Fatima for speaking up. I am so grateful that this didn’t turn into a fight so it can be encouraging for other girls. If it was a battle, it could have been a real deterrent. Fatima, you give me hope

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