Saturday, June 19, 2010

Women Rise Against Yerima in Zamfara State

Women, under the umbrella of Zamfara State Joint Youths Islamic Organisation, yesterday took to the streets of Gusau, the state capital, protesting against the child rights bill.

The protest followed the controversy surrounding the marriage of former Governor Ahmad Sani Yerima to an Egyptian minor.

Yarima’s action has been condemned by women rights organisations and other rights groups.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the protesters, comprising school age girls and women, thronged the streets in a peaceful demonstration against Yerima’s chastisement..

They went to the state secretariat, Government House and House of Assembly, waving placards with inscriptions that condemned the child rights bill.

Some of the inscriptions read: "No to Zionism", "Islam is my religion" and "We reject child rights act".

The protest, scheduled to terminate at the House of Assembly, rounded up at the group’s secretariat, following the refusal of the Assembly to grant the protesters audience.

The group’s leader, Hajiya Safiaya Haidara, said: "The child rights bill is a contravention of Section 38 of the 1999 Constitution which grants every Nigerian right to practice his or her religion."

Safiya, who was represented by the secretary of Muslim Sisters’ Organisation, Hajiya Binta Mohammed, described the bill as an infringement on Muslims’ rights to practice their religion.

The President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Mr. Iniobong Ememobong, yesterday said the body would sue Yerima for contravening the Child Rights Act.

Describing the ex-governor’s marriage to a minor as demeaning and embarrassing, Ememobong said: "Nigerian students will not rest until Yerima is made to face the law over his despicable action.

"We do not want him to portray Nigeria as a lawless country. A man of his status is not expected to marry the age mate of his granddaughter, no matter the urge."


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