Senator Ahmed Sani Yerima's Paedophilia Tendencies.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Senator Ahmed Sani Yerima

Yerima’s love for baby brides
•Ex-governor must go to jail –Lawyers
By Jossy Idam, Toyin Akinola, Oge Okonkwo and Rita Napoleon 

Senator Ahmed Sani Yerima’s recent marriage to a minor has indeed stirred the hornet’s nest, with psychologists and lawyers roundly condemning his act.
A consultant psychologist at Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital, Osun State, Dr Oyewole Adeoye, says the behaviour of the former Zamfara State governor hints at a deeply seated psychological problem.

“He could be sick. He could be suffering from what we call manic disorder. The core symptom of that is sexual indiscretion or sexual dis-inhibition. It is the same condition that makes a man impregnate his house-help only to prostrate afterwards and blame the devil. It is a disorder where the sufferer loses all inhibitions (dis-inhibition)”

The psychiatrist further said Yerima’s behaviour borders on pedophilia. Asked to give a medical explanation to the term, he revealed that it “is a sexual behaviour where a man has a predilection for minors and they usually start by exposing their private parts to children. If a man prefers sex with minors, children, then he has a mental problem.”
Dr Oyewole also looked at it from social perspective and said men in Africa define their manhood through sexual prowess.

“In Africa, our sense of manhood has to do with sexual prowess. Men like to conquer and they see women they have had sex with as the ones they have conquered. That is why you hear a man boasting of how he ‘dealt’ with a girl even if he has erectile dysfunction. That is the way an African man thinks.”
Another psychologist and lecturer at Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Lagos, Dr Daudu Adedayo, described Yerima as a man with a psycho-pathological problem and high level of abnormality.
“There are so many mature girls including Muslim sisters. He could have taken any of them but he chose to go for an under-aged,” he said.

Miles apart
Looking at the psychological and physical impact of the relationship, Dr Adedayo said Yerima and his baby-bride would relate like father and daughter.
“Since the girl has not got to the stage of realization, differentiate things and make decisions in marriage, it will pose so many problems. For this reason, it would affect her in the home. It requires high level of maturity to make decisions,” he said.

Hinting at couple intimacy, Adedayo told Sunday Sun in a telephone interview that Yerima’s baby-bride is expected to be mature physically in the womb and reproductive organ.
“But, at her age, all these organs are underdeveloped in her. So, physically, sex will be a great problem in the house because she lacks the knowledge of intimate sexuality, and in no distant time, it will lead to frustration and lack of tolerance,” he said.

Exposed to VVF
Another medical expert, gyaenecologist and the chief medical director of Living Spring Hospital, Ikotun, Lagos, Dr Akinsola Akinde, expressed fear that Yerima’s little wife may end up with a disease popular with young people involved in early child-bearing, VVF (Vesico Vagina Fistula).
“At that tender age, the little girl is not psychologically and mentally mature for sex, marriage and child-bearing,” he said.
A human rights activist and initiator of Women Arise, an NGO, Dr Joe-Okei Odumakin, in strong terms condemned Yerima’s action.

Obviously bitter, she told Sunday Sun: “Yerima is supposed to be a role model. He is the same person that introduced Sharia law, which amputated offenders. Now he is committing an act that is condemnable. The affair does not give the girl the room for thorough education. So, the man deserves gross punishment.”

In a similar vein, a Lagos-based medical practitioner, Dr. Emmanuel Enabulele, corroborating the concern of the petitioners that protested at the Senate about the health implications of the minor in question, he said there will no doubt be negative medical consequences for the child, as she is not physically and psychologically developed to undertake the responsibilities that come with marriage.
“No doubt for a girl of that age (13), there will be negative medical consequences, even psychological. Physically she wouldn’t have developed enough, especially having an undeveloped pelvis, which could lead to complications when she is having a baby. In a case like that, there are usually incidences of prolonged labour, which could be harmful to the mother as well as the child, and may as well result into Vesico Vagina Fistula.”

Null and void
Princess Olufemi-Kayode, executive director, Media Concern for Women and Children (MEDIACON), an organization working for the reduction of sexual abuse of children and women, says though the laws are there, respect for them has been the problem in the country.
Noting that the Child Rights Act 2003, which was signed into law in the country that year, the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, all stipulate 18 years as the legal age for marriage for any child. She said a violation attracts punishment.

“Nigeria, as opposed to what many believe, has laws. However, respect for the law is what is questionable. One of such laws is the CRA 2003 (over 20 states have also enacted their Child Rights Law), which both recognize 18 years being the legal age for marriage.
Section 21 of the CRA 2003 states: “No person under the age of 18 years is capable of contracting a valid marriage, and accordingly, a marriage so contracted is null and void and of no effect whatsoever.”
Section 22 – 23 further highlights that no parent, guardian or other person shall betroth a child to any person, stating that it is null and void.

Child trafficker
Lawyers are also up in arms against Yerima. Barrister Godwin Ewa of Adekunle Ojo and Associates frontally accused Yerima of child trafficking. “Before we get to his marriage with a minor, and by removing that baby girl from her parents through monetary inducement or whatever, Yerima is involved in child trafficking. Section 27 of the Child Rights Act prohibits that. The section prohibits the adoption and removal of a child out of the custody of his or her parents or guardian. The penalty is seven years imprisonment with no option of fine. When the facts are got, Yerima must be brought to book,” he intoned.
Activist lawyer, Festus Keyamo, did not spare Yerima either. Describing the senator’s action as irresponsible, bad, terrible example, he condemned it “as moral depravity which tarnishes the image of the Senate and the National Assembly as a whole.”

Playing the ostrich
As Yerima’s marital tie with an under-aged girl continues to gather dust, most of his male colleagues at the National Assembly prefer keeping mum. The Senate spokesman, Ayogu Eze, was even quoted as saying that the upper legislature is yet to verify the full detail.
“We think it is a private thing, and by the Constitution there is little or nothing that the Senate can do. It has to do with his personal life,” he had said.
But female senators have saved the day by rallying round Senator Ufot Eme Ekaette (PDP, Cross River State).

In a petition, Sunday Sun learnt they accused Yerima of marrying a minor and therefore wants him suspended. The group even threatened a seven-day “No-comment protest” at the National Assembly if the Senate fails to look into the Yerima marital mess.
But the Senate’s foot-dragging on the matter is understandable as Sunday Sun investigation revealed that some members of its leadership graced the tying of the knots at the Abuja Central mosque last month.
Unlike the inertia in the Senate, the House of Representatives directed its committee on public petitions last Thursday to quickly investigate the marriage tangle and report back to the House.

Choice of Abuja
The shaggy-bearded senator decided to uproot and marry his baby-bride in Abuja to evade Egypt’s stringent laws for foreigners angling to take a wife in the country. And going by that country’s law, Yerima went beyond his bounds. The official marriage age for girls in Egypt is 16.
Sunday Sun learnt the girl, Nadia, as she is called, was denied resident visa by the Nigerian Embassy in Cairo. She only was given a visit permit. After the “marriage” at the Abuja Central Mosque, she was hurriedly taken back to Egypt where she is still a student.

The 100,000 dollars (N15 million) dowry, which the senator allegedly paid, is well above the 6,500 dollars and average cost of marriage in Egypt. A study on the cost of marriage in the 1990s in Egypt reveals that the amount is even prohibitive “in a country in which average per capita income was 1,490 dollars in 2000.” Sunday Sun also found out that one-third of the household in that study were living below Egypt’s national poverty line.

Yerima not only broke a bank to marry his latest little wife, he airlifted 40 of his in-laws to the occasion and feted them stupendously. A source close to Yerima that also witnessed the event told Sunday Sun that the girl and her parents were given something beyond their wildest dreams.
“The display and splash of wealth is the catch. Looking at the faces of the girl’s relations, they were obviously swept off their feet,” the source, who wants anonymity, said.
If Yerima were to undertake his marriage in Cairo, Egypt’s Foreign Affairs Ministry would have insisted on a notarized, sworn statement that he is free to marry. If divorced, he would be expected to tender proof of the termination of his previous marriage. The authorities may even insist on a physical examination by an Egyptian physician.

International violation
Yerima also contravened the United Nations law by his act. According to its recent report: Fact sheet: Early Marriage, “early marriage unions violate the basic human rights of the girls by putting them into a life of isolation, service, lack of education, health problems and abuse.”
A UNICEF paper in the fact sheet sets the minimum age for marriage at 18. Any arrangement with a girl below that age is regarded as forceful and unlawful.

Knocking on jail gate
Put together to be in tandem with acceptable international conventions, which Nigeria is a signatory to, Nigeria’s Child Rights Act, Section 21 clearly states that any man who marries a girl below the age of 18 is liable to N500,000 or five years imprisonment and even both.
Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Roland Erunbare, has clearly stated that the commission will prosecute Yerima for his marital dalliance with the under-aged girl.

Above the law
The lawmaker, Yerima, is quoted as saying he has not broken the law of the land, and that any law outside his religion does not count.
In an interview with the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) Hausa service, Yerima broke his long, jarring silence on the matter Thursday evening. Translated into English, he said: “I don’t care about the issue of age since I have not violated any rule as far as Islam is concerned. History tells us that Prophet Mohammed did marry a young girl as well. Therefore I have not contravened any law, even if she is 13, as it is being falsely peddled around.”

As revealed in one of the petitions sent to the Senate, Yerima in 2006 enticed Hauwa’u, a 15-year-old girl, to drop out from school at JSS3 to marry him. The girl allegedly made a baby for him before he divorced her to add a fresh wife, Nadia, the Egyptian child bride to his harem.
Regardless, National Missioner of the Ansar-U-Deen Society of Nigeria, Abdurahman Ahmad, rose in defence of the man in the eye of the storm. He said that under Sharia, Yerima has done no wrong.

“Categorically, an older man is permitted in Islam to marry a younger girl. The only caveat is that if the girl is under-aged, the groom is expected to wait for her to attain puberty before the marriage can be consummated,” he said.
According to him, the yardstick for measuring the appropriate age for the girl in Islam is if she has attained puberty. At this stage, she could marry or could be married.

Noting that the onset of puberty could be as early as 12, he said there is really no big deal about the issue, so long as a case of rape has not been established against the older man.
“There is really no big deal; there should be no fuss about it, so long as a case of rape has not been established against him. Sharia recognizes the marriage of an older man to a younger girl,” he said.


0 Feedback:

Site Meter