- A new bill in Katsina state now permits the marriage of underage children
- Governor Aminu Masari has signed the bill into law which automatically paves the way for the new rule
- Children's rights to protection from violence, abuse, and exploitation are clearly laid out in international law
A report by Premium Times indicates that the Katsina governor, Aminu Masari, has assented to the Child Protection Bill which automatically paves the way for underage marriage in the northwest state.
According to the report, the chief registrar of the Katsina state high court, Kabir Shua’ibu, confirmed the development in an interview with reporters.
The development means that although the Child Right Protection Bill defines a child as a person below the age of 18 and seeks to protect them from abuse, it will not protect underage persons from being married off.
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Earlier, the Katsina state house of assembly committee chairman on the Child Protection Bill, Musa Nuhu, said the passage of the bill will end the prevalence of child rape, child labour and forced and underage marriage in the state.
The bill, however, says:
‘‘There should be counselling by parents to evaluate the development of their children before marrying them off.”
Some Nigerians have been commenting on the new bill in Katsina.
Mrs Reena Maryam Idris wrote on Twitter:
“Saudi Arabia have banned it and Katsina is enabling in 2021.”
David Eze asked:
“Why call it a child protection bill when underaged girls are married off?”
Michael Johnson wrote:
“But the same Masari will never give out his 15 yr old daughter for marriage.”
Abdulraheem St John asked:
“Why not vigorously pursue free education at all levels, for the girl child?”
Meanwhile, a multi-million naira trust fund to fight against gender-based violence (GBV) has been launched by a non-governmental organisation, Jose Foundation.
A press statement seen by Legit.ng on Wednesday, January 6, and signed by the president, Jose Foundation, Dr. Martins Abhulimhen, disclosed that the trust fund became necessary to address the rising cases of gender-based violence across the country by providing guards against GBV.
In a related development, the Akwa Ibom police command has arrested some officials of the Deeper Life High School over the alleged sexual abuse of an 11-year-old student of the school in Uyo, the state capital.
The officials of the school were said to have been detained after attending a meeting at the police headquarters, Uyo, summoned by the Commissioner of Police, Andrew Amiengheme.
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