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Nigeria legalises child marriage for girls

PROTEST: A girl demonstrates at proposed laws making it legal for girls to marry in Nigeria (PA)

NIGERIA’S SENATE voted to change its law in favour of underage marriage for girls.

The country's upper chamber had reached a resolution to alter Section 29 (a) of the proposed constitutional amendment, which states that a Nigerian girl can only go into marriage legally when she is at least 18 years of age.

But Senator Ahmad Sani objected to the provision which inserts a minimum age for girls before getting married, on the grounds that it contradicts Islamic law.

After Yerima’s objection, the Senate President, David Mark, then called for a new round of votes and after the second round of the votes, the earlier provision was partially discarded by majority of the senators who voted against the existing law on girl marriages.

However, the senate has faced a backlash from Nigerian citizens both on the streets and on the internet, through blogs and social networking sites.

Nollywood actor Nonso Diobi tweeted: “A Female Child should be taken to the Classroom not Labour room .. #ChildNotBride.”

Additionally, former minister of Abuja, Nasir El-Rufai said: “We need your support. Please comment on #ChildNotBride”…criminals from time use religion to cloak perversion…”

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