Nigerian Senator Ahmed Sani Yerima is Nigeria’s foremost exponent of child marriage in Nigeria. Yes, you read correctly, child marriage. Nigerian child marriage was banned via the Child Rights Act in 2003. However, according to recent statistics from Girls Not Brides, 17% of girls in Nigeria are married before the age of 15.
Senator Yerima himself has 4 wives, all of whom married him underage with the fourth wife marrying him at the tender age of 13. Perhaps this shouldn’t be such a great surprise – Senator Yerima was the first governor in Nigeria to implement Sharia law in his state – Zamfara State. Al Jazeera recently asked Senator Yerima about how he met his fourth wife and he said as follows:
“I traveled to Cairo and through a friend I was able to see her and her family and I didn’t want to marry her. I wanted to see another girl but when I saw her she was pretty matured and I didn’t bother to ask her age. It’s not required under Islamic law”.
If you think that’s shocking, then check out this video where Senator Yerima argues that any girl who is married is of age under Islamic law. What are your view on child marriage in Nigeria? Comment below and let us know what you think about Senator Yerima’s controversial views.