Tuesday 16 June 2015

My Second View of the #childnotbride Story: Professor W Soyinka's comments on The Nigerian Sexual Offences Bill 2015

I remember writing on this issues a few years ago. I am going to quote myself and the venerable Professor in the same post! yikes!
Foluke 2013: Child 'marriage' has been going on for ages, generations even. It has never needed legal validation so why seek it now? That is the question we should be asking ourselves. 
I start from the premise that contrary to public opinion, our politicians are EXTREMELY smart. They are so sharp, they can cut diamond. Let us never be in doubt about that. Calling them names like clueless and silly and idiot, points the finger back at ourselves while they laugh all the way to bank. So why were our politicians so eager to amend the age at which one can renounce Nigerian citizenship?
My conclusions therefore are as follows; there is a sinister reason behind this debate and we are being misdirected to look in the wrong direction. Secondly, children are being given out in marriage every day, to do something about it we need sustained protest and not the flash-in-the-pan antics that we are fond of adopting. Finally, let us be objective and reflective in our view of issues. Don’t always argue what your adversary wants you to argue, but look to the bigger picture, look through his eyes. Do not underestimate. Beware misdirection.

Soyinka 2015: 'Well, we understand ‘child’ as defined in most dictionaries. There is however also child as defined by the Nigerian legislature. This definition is contained in a prior Bill, sponsored, no less, by a notorious serial paedophile and cross-border sex trafficker, yet lawmaker – one Ahmed Yerima.

Does Yerima’s Bill, gleefully assented to by his peers, not simply vitiate this latter, supposedly humane concern for the protection of the child? Again, I confess to being only a ‘bloody layman’ in such matters.

However, reading both bills, it strikes me that all the new bill does is empower the clique of paedophiles. All you need do is ‘marry’ even a six-year old under any local laws, and do whatever you want with her. Through marriage, she is already an ‘adult’. Her ‘defiler’ is now fully protected by this law. She is not.'

Foluke 2015: Beware the magician-politician, he is smart, he will patiently outwait your amnesiac attention span, there is a plan more cunning than we can imagine. Nigeria belongs to her people, only if her people are brave and cunning enough to take her for the magician-politician, the master of misdirection! And please, please remember the voiceless and powerless children!