Child marriage: Lawmakers voted out of ignorance - Minister


The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Zainab Maina, has stated that it is sheer ignorance that made some National Assembly members to vote for the controversial bill of early marriage for girls.
The minister stated this in Abuja, on Thursday, when she spoke to journalists on constitutional review matters, adding that her ministry was already lobbying for the bill to be deleted from the constitution.
 “On our visit to the National Assembly yesterday [Thursday], we have met with five senators who have already signed that they will vote in favour of deleting the bill,” she stated.
The minister noted that about 23 states had already passed the Child Right Act and that about eight of the them had already established family customary courts.
She stated that the ministry had gone further in visiting the states with the Child Right Act to make sure that they implemented the laws.
 “We have been on advocacy visits in states, we will go to states houses of assembly, those that have passed the bill. We would go back to make sure they implement through the provision of customary courts,” she noted.
Maina then said that before 2015, no child across the country would be on the street, adding that “we are more concerned about the girls, we are working with the private sector to make sure that Nigerian children are off the streets.”
Speaking on the occasion, Executive Secretary, Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA), Saudautu Mahdi, pleaded with the Senate to revisit the bill.

 “We all as a body of Nigerians need to bring constructive pressure on the National Assembly to delete the Section  29 (4) (b) of the constitution.”
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