A Non Government Organisation, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has appealed to Nigerians to be tolerant on the raging controversy surrounding the child marriage debate.
MURIC’s Director, Ishaq Akintola, made the call in a statement issued on Wednesday in Ibadan.
The statement said that in line with the tenets of Islam, age was not part of the conditions which must be met before marriage could be solemnized.
It said that where the bride was a ‘minor’, Islam prescribes protective solemnization of marriage to shield the bride from abuse.
“This means that the girl who is deemed to be of tender age is left untouched by the man until she attains puberty.
“Another major condition for child marriage is that the girl herself has the right to repudiate the marriage when she attains maturity if she does not like her spouse.
“MURIC believes that honourable and dignifying child marriage is better than child prostitution which is rampant in Nigerian cities and red light zones,’’ it said.
The statement compared the globalisation and promotion of homosexualism, lesbianism and same-sex marriage as a direct challenge to God’s divine order.
The Senate, on the recommendations of the Constitution Review Committee, rejected the deletion of the clause on renunciation of citizenship.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu, said that the clause was recommended for deletion because it was considered discriminatory.
He said the clause, which had been in the Constitution since 1979, had nothing to do with child marriage as was being insinuated by some Nigerians.