Damiap, Dennis Wapshik.

I had to alight the Taxi I boarded in a Port Harcourt traffic hold-up to steal a shot when I noticed how this teenage mother looked at the school children passing her and her four children to her hips begging on the street.

What was she thinking? Was what was going through my mind while I zoom in to get a candid photo. Probably regret, admiration, envy or even hate as it is bound to happen when a society battered and neglect someone.

Don’t she have a husband? The question was rhetoric, though I seriously wish someone could answer me. Now that’s another issue. She is too young probably to have a husband but it won’t be a surprise if she do have a husband following the rate of child abuse, molestation and marriage in Nigeria and most African/third world countries.

the International marriage act of 1929 states the official marriage age and sexual life activities for females to be 18 and 21 for males. This act enjoyed the activism of people like Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu who was also against the system of child marriages.

In 2012, the United Nations launched a global campaign on October 11, to abolish an anachronistic social practice still prevalent in some communities around the world. The launch also marked the first International Day of the Girl Child.

Such a great initiative isn’t it?  Why then do Nigeria stand extinct to such international conduct and practice? The issue of Girl Child Abuse and Marriages against their wish, where most-times the parents are privy keeps getting popular consent.

When will it stop? such evil against one’s sex has to be eradicated in Nigeria, Africa and the world at large.

Some notorious reasons for such crime against another human is poverty. out of conquest to survive, most parents of the female child believe sending her to early marriage will add to their income in terms of bride price and also take away the responsibility of the girl child from them to the husband. The crime is most commonly found within poverty stricken homes in Nigeria.

Ignorance cannot be neglected when we talk about this. Most parents are still tied up with the mentality of choosing spouses for their daughters and sons. This is owing to religion and cultural practices which is obsolete and cannot enhance the society we live in now in this 21 century. The parents end up choosing their age mates and friends for their daughters whom they think status is recommended in the society, and are capable of taking care of their daughters. This rarely happens; once the matrimony is instituted, the otherwise becomes the inevitable narrative.

Injustice and oppression of the fragile feminine sex by the domineering male sex, of the poor by the rich and of the young by the old. These three factors has done a lot of harm to the girl child where it is believed that women are inferior to men, thus, can’t question any decisions or act even if it is violating their rights. This led to the upsurge of old rich men buying little girls from their parents in the name of marriage.

Poor laws and enforcement by the government. Invariably, no one cares about the national or international girl child protection policy, so defaulters of the Girl Child Right kept going free and encouraged to do same if not more next time.

Today I saw what I can’t take my mind off; the melancholic hateful stare at the school children which might suggest ‘your parents and their types are who condemned me to this fate’. We may argue that it’s not true but I assure us in the words of Dan Brown, “the deepest part of hell is for those who maintain their neutrality in terms of moral crisis”. Except we speak out against this injustice, we remain accomplice to the crime deserving trial.

Today I saw a famished mother with her malnourished quadruplets growing into a sick society to sicken it the more.

image source: Damiap, Dennis Wapshik. gisttime.com Reporter

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