Ortom Seeks Northern Governors’ Support Against Child Marriage

child marriage in Nigeria Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has asked political leaders, especially Northern governors, to join the campaign against child marriage by creating educate opportunities for the girl child instead of rushing them into early marriage.

Mr Ortom made the call in Makurdi, the Benue state capital at a meeting organised by the Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan, to mobilise support for sound educational and economic base for women in the state.

The Minister, who sought Governor Ortom’s support against child marriage said that the Federal Government had prepared a 1.6 billion Naira empowerment fund for women in 2017.

She also told the women at the gathering that 40 women had been trained in key areas of trade.

She encouraged them to be prudent with the fund, to enable the government increase the allocation subsequently.

Child marriage has assumed alarming rate in Nigeria, particularly in Northern Nigeria where the practice created national outcry in Katsina State recently.

The campaign against child marriage and women empowerment enjoys massive support in Benue, but it remains to be seen if the support will spread across the entire Northern Nigeria, where child marriage practice is high.

Deadline ForĀ Child Marriage

In November, the Canadian government appealed to the Nigerian government to come out with concrete plans to end what it described as huge burden of child bride on Nigeria.

Canadian High Commissioner, Mr Christopher Thornley, made the appeal at a meeting held to discuss more efforts needed to end child marriage.

According to him, two in every five girls in Africa are given in marriage before they attain age 19 and Nigeria has the highest record of such marriages.

“In Africa, two out of five girls are married before the age of 19. In Nigeria, I’m sorry to say this, but I’m also very heartened that we see people here, like yourselves, who are addressing the issue.

“In Nigeria there are more child brides than in any other country. Part of that is that Nigeria is such a huge country. Absolutely the numbers will be high, but there are massive numbers of young girls being married in this country as children,” he told a gathering of government officials, representatives of different organisations and right activists.

After that appeal, the Nigerian government launched a campaign to protect the girl child, setting a deadline to end child marriage.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo explained that all departments and agencies would be made to ensure compliance as the country has set a 2030 target to totally endĀ child marriage.

The campaign, which is launched alongside 15 other African Union member countries, is to highlight the physical, mental and social effects of marrying a girl before the age of 18.

Child Bride: Canada Wants Concrete Plan From Nigeria

christopher-thornley-canadian-high-commissioner-in-nigeriaThe Canadian government is appealing to the Nigerian government to come out with concrete plans to end what it described as huge burden of child bride on Nigeria.

Canadian High Commissioner, Mr Christopher Thornley, made the appeal on Friday at a meeting held to discuss more efforts needed to end child marriage.

According to him, two in every five girls in Africa are given in marriage before they attain age 19 and Nigeria has the highest record of such marriages.

“In Africa, two out of five girls are married before the age of 19. In Nigeria, I’m sorry to say this, but I’m also very heartened that we see people here, like yourselves, who are addressing the issue.

“In Nigeria there are more child brides than in any other country. Part of that is that Nigeria is such a huge country. Absolutely the numbers will be high, but there are massive numbers of young girls being married in this country as children,” he told the gathering of government officials, representatives of different organisations and right activists.

He said that the African Union (AU) campaign to end child marriage was raising awareness and accelerating change.

“Nigeria has signed on to this campaign and we are working with the government in support of its work to end child marriage.

“There is a national strategy that will be launched next week and I know that this meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss some of the elements of that strategy and if any of you is feeding into that, please go back to what I said about the age 18 definition.

“It is very important that that be embedded in the strategy and there is resistance in Nigeria to that, as you know.

“It is not enough to have a strategy, concrete action must be taken to put plans into actions and to accomplish concrete results,” he added.

Canada Seeks Partnership With Nigeria To Address Child Marriage

child-female-girlThe Canadian government is seeking a stronger partnership with the Nigerian government to reduce the burden of child marriage in Africa’s most populous nation.

The Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Christopher Thornley, who spoke at a forum in Abuja on the growing international concern about child marriage, pointed out that Nigeria had more cases of child brides in sub-Saharan Africa.

He also explained the commitment of the Canadian government to assisting Nigeria’s efforts at reducing the burden of child marriage.

When the Child Rights Act was passed into law in 2003, many people celebrated it as a law that would finally put the issues of child marriage to rest because it puts the minimum age of marriage at 18.

Almost 13 years after, the burden of child bride is still heavy on Nigeria, as statistics from the Canadian government reveal.

At a photo exhibition by the Canadian High Commission in Abuja, the burden of child marriage was highlight as a global issue, with focus on what could be done to end it.

At the event was a teenager who was a victim of child marriage in Zamfara State, northwest Nigeria.

She dropped out of primary school at 12, the same year she was married off.

This situation is what the Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria said his country was trying to address and reduce the burden on Nigeria.

For the Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan, the problem is endemic in some states despite the existing federal laws that protected the child rights.

She, however, assured the Canadian government of Nigeria’s efforts to ensure that states domesticate laws that would protect the girl child rights.

Statistics by the Canadian government reveals that over 15 million girls are married every year before they turn 18, an alarming figure that the Sustainable Development Goals hope to reduce by the year 2030.