According to GPECM (The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage), as of 2017 in Nigeria, 43% of girls are married off before the age of 18. Nigeria has the third-highest absolute number of child brides in the world – 3,538,000. Under the Marriage Act 1990, the minimum legal age of marriage is 21 years for both girls and boys (they can marry before age 21 with written consent from a parent or guardian). Under the Child Rights Act 2003, the minimum legal age of marriage is 18 years.
Recently, the conviction of Yinusa Dahiru for the abduction and rape of Ese Osuru a 14-year-old girl, who he abducted from her mother’s shop in 2015, married and subsequently impregnated has reignited the focus on the topic of age, consent and marriage in Nigeria. Some of the issues raised include;
1. Is child marriage culturally or morally acceptable in Nigeria?
2. The age of consent/child marriage
3. Child abuse
Many Nigerians have reacted one way or another to the outcome of the court's decision that jailed Yinusa Dahiru for 26 years for the crimes of abduction and rape. Is it possible that the opinions of the most vocal commentators on the matter does not reflect the opinion of the generality of Nigerians across the nation? Or does Yinusa have more sympathisers than castigators?
What say you?
*This poll is for research purposes. The contents of our polls do not reflect our leanings or position on any matter.