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Samuel Kuye July 30 The Favoured Wordsmith- to the Glory of God With ‘The Venerable Favoured Ones, Stands to examine and to tell The truth as always against hell With the courage to say all is well Amidst peace and rift in a risk to tell The truth. As it is certain, Yahweh is the Shell That shields me impenetrably, till I hear the bell To come home-Heaven, Amen. And never hell. CHILD MARRIAGE: A HIDEOUS CRIME TO HUMANITY Oliver Gold Smith said, ‘Law grinds the poor and rich men rule the law’. That is the case in Nigeria. Education is progressing to a level at which it becomes a game exclusive for the rich and robbers. As if evil is pleasant, as if the people pray for pain and poverty, a greater burden and evil is being introduced, to drain and dry the value of the poor. Child Marriage, basically for underage girls, is a baseless issue which overtly opines that the essence of the existence of the female folk is to be used and overused or misused by the male folk at will. Nigeria: do or die politics; Jumbo Pay; Unnecessary Political Offices; Intermittent Power Supply for which people pay for services not enjoyed; Several Strikes, on and on (ASUP, ASSU, NLC, TUC, NUT, PENGASSAN, Doctors and so on); Plane Crash; several Bombing and Deaths; Unfinished Cases with EFCC; Fuel Subsidy Removal with Revelation without essence; Looting with Impunity; and several depressing socio-political issues- for which committee stand in vain to gain; are the hard facts about the country, Nigeria. This time, it is Child Marriage, aside gay marriage issue, that is been bitterly discussed here and there, now and then. And the government seems unconcerned about the people’s responses and reactions. There are cases, time and again that show the great failure of democracy in Nigeria. Laws are made by few for few who never care for people but for self and for maintenance of bad status quo. Female has been particularly hard hit by almost all laws of a blind patriarchal society, the men make laws that care not or care less about the female: Against child marriage we cry But they think they are too high To hear our voice and cry But they Aren’t taller than the sky That glorifies our madrigals We will not stop to cry Nature will hear us The Celestial we fight for us They will become sane Or perish in shame and pain Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo said in her novel, Roses and Bullets, that ‘the dead men will soon be weary of sleeping’. Although, to our government, we are like noisy dead men who will soon grow weary of speaking, and whose voices soon fade away in fate, we cannot but continue to speak. Nigerians will become unpredictable to the government very soon. If we allow child marriage, will fathers support a 14 year old boy who decides to marry? Never! Child Marriage is not a complete or sufficient description of the matter. It is female child-Male Adult marriage. It is not as if a child will marry a child. But against her will, or in accordance with a forced- feigned will, a girl will marry a man old enough to be a father or grandfather or a young man as the case may be. And then she must endure the pain of congress without complaint. Imagine a fresh burrow being thrust by an elephant; it certainly is an act against nature. And yet, her ignorance will be so exploited such that she will helplessly flattened in silent groaning. Despite elasticity, some ripe enough for eating, except or until when the feeling is properly or adequately stimulated, do experience pain- when touched. The poor must think. Their boys will work hard and hard and fade in time. Their girls will marry and get over used and over-milked till they fade away especially when their haunch and breast become uninvitingly flattened. The rich will educate their children-boys and girls. And the result is: the posterity of the rich will rule continuously over the poor. John F. Kennedy said, ‘A child mis-educated is a child lost'. And we must know that a child lost is a generation lost. Child marriage- a girl marries an old man and the man imprisons her. He used her for his comfort. The poor girl bleeds. Poor girl bleeds. Her pain’s ne’er relieved by the brunch I wonder if our cries can stop the staunch The evil ne’er consider her comfort They feel good to force her into his fort Where her cheeks, lips and teeth will ne’er smile For she is at the bottom of the pile And her breast and Haunch will waste And her milk will waste And her beauties pile to join the pile Of queens that form the fort stile And she zooms past on her fate And wears out and old before her date And her totality is rendered ashes and non-entity Apart from the pleasure she gives the wicked entity It is irritating that despite hard facts about the evils of child marriage, such as hard evidences of medical implication, many of the people’s representatives prefer to allow child abuse, female oppression, female abuse, in term of child or early marriage. There are several cases of Vesico Virginal Fistula (VVF) in Nigeria. Nigeria is said to record the highest cases of VVF in the world. The minister of Women affair and Social Development, Hajiya Zainab Maina revealed that Nigeria has the highest cases of VVF in the world with an ‘estimated’ 400, 000 to 800,000 cases of which 20,000 cases added annually. According to Wikipedia, VVF is an abnormal fistulous tract extending between the bladder and the virginal that allows the continuous involuntary discharge of urine into the virginal vault. It can result from prolong child labour or violet rape. Fistula is said to be a term for abnormal connection between two bodily organs. Obsteric fistula either Vesico virginal fistula or rector virginal fistula is dangerous, shameful, painful and perhaps deadly. Although, only the victims, their close people, medical experts and some learned may have enough understanding of the disease, VVF, we all most know that since it has to do with the virginal it is very critical and worth avoiding, controlling , or curing, as possible. Why then, Should some people fail to consider the well being of the young girl and risk their health by making them liable to becoming victims of VVF? No good reasons for this other than selfishness, Wickedness and heartlessness. Even in slavery, this was extremely unpleasant, infact, not practiced, and only in slavery can people be treated against their comfort, according to the owner’s wish. Children are not commodities, they are not disposable valueless-valuables, but assets worth protecting no matter their sex. Nevertheless, if we base this issue on sex, I think children now, do become ‘baby mothers’. Before 18, many doors are broken, many treasure are stolen, many valuables are washed or burnt off by employing culture or science, quack or expert, and many lives are wasted even among the civilized ones who even think that ‘Play safe’ is more pleasant to say than ‘Abstinence is the best’ or ‘Abstain till then’. Many underage now taste sex, I care not to say enjoy sex, because pleasure is not the same as joy or happiness. Many or some have children while they (the new mothers) are still children. So, let not the pot call the kettle black. So therefore, the fact is that marriage is beyond sex and child bearing, it’s a commitment and a responsibility. It is a union of mature and compatible minds-Adult and not babies, not teens, not girls, but for women (A man with a woman) for the joy and comfort and peace of both partners. There are claims that the law makers did not legalise child marriage in their recent resolution on a particular issue in the constitution; that something similar to child marriage has been in the constitution; that the people should be grateful to the law makers for creating awareness and that many of the critics should not speak as if it is a new thing in the constitution. These claims seem correct- the law makers only refused to delete that law. But there are several questions concerning these claims: must we retain evil because we did not initiate it? Is it compulsory that only those who make a law or initiate something can alter it? Must we continue everything that was done in the past? Concerning error, is it not because we are involved, is it not because it is in us, is it not because we agree with it and because we love to practice it, that make us to conclude that error should remain? We need to know that positive change is not a crime for change is a companion of time. If we claim that even in some countries there is no age for marriage, in such countries, are there no laws against child labour, is there no age for maturity exploits? And if pedophilia and related acts are normal in some places, must such be the case in our place? Child Marriage affects mostly the female (and the poverty stricken frustrated parents). So it is still an aspect of the mny evils of ‘a blind patriarchy system’ which still sees female as a property just for man comfort. But none so deaf as those who will never hear. And forbidden fruit tastes sweetest especially to the tongue of the greedy. The case of Nigeria is critical For there may be accident so fatal For she is being driven by the willful deaf Write, speak, shout and cry to the ears of the deaf And if voices and songs catch no attention Tapping, touching, pulling, and pushing will be the resolution Soon, soon and so soon Nature will proffer solution very soon. The Bible says ‘Children are the heritage from God’ (Psalm127:3) and happy is the man who has his quiver full of them (Psalm 127:5). Proverb 22:6 command parent to trained their children in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it. Apart from Miriam, a prophetess, Deborah, a prophetess, (and reasonably, a warrior), Huldah, a prophetess, Anah, a prophetess, Phoebe, a Deaconess, there was Rhoda or Dorcas who was so caring in her time and influenced many lives. She was valuable beyond the kitchen. Yet we can say that Abishag was very young when brought to David the king. She was not a girl but a maiden, the kind that can be married and yet the king did nothing with her. Child Marriage is a crime to humanity. I refuse to discuss this issue as if we are copying the western world or the so civilized and pestering world. For if we reject child marriage because they did, rather than because of the evil there in, we might as well have to accept day marriage. So it is not as if their system is the best. Our refusal of child married is not just because some other worlds refuse it but because of the evil in it. Evil is evil. Child marriage is evil and nothing but evil. If we discuss the issue according to custom or culture of some people and conclude that it must be allowed, why did we not allow human sacrifice even though it used to be part of the custom of some people. Many Nigerians have spoken against child marriage for example Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin said that the resolution on child marriage violated decency. If a region doesn’t want to change and accommodate peace of all and comfort for all, then why do we stick to federal system of government and not confederal system of government? Most women who support this act do so because they are (made to be) inure to the system and intellectually weakened or oppressed by the selfish rich men of their society. Child marriage is a crime to childhood, womanhood and humanity. It is not as if the marriable or the mature are finished or scarce, it is not as if the underage will not attain the proper age so what is the essence of child marriage? KUYE SAMUEL O.

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