Who Can Stop Yerima?

Last week former Zamfara State governor now a distinguished senator of the Federal Republic, Sani Yerima, took another child wife but not after sacking the one that attracted global uproar. Recall that he married a teenager young enough to be his grand-daughter. That was his third. She is an Egyptian girl whose poor parents received $100,000 (about N15m) as dowry or bride price. The girl took in and had complications during delivery. She was sacked by the Sharia advocate, who only took a replacement last week.

Sani Yerima

Sani Yerima

As if Yerima is telling the world to go to hell, this time he married a younger girl, age 13. The senator is indeed unstoppable. His appetite for kid wives is insatiable. He likes them young and innocent. He likes them timid and fallow. He likes them clean and neat. He likes them pure and untouched and he likes them fresh and local yet we are yet to hear that he has given any of his children out for marriage. What an irony!

There is indeed more to Yerima’s love for child wives than meets the eye. The fact that he divorces these teenagers after they have individually had one child leaves more to be desired. How can Yerima divorce teenagers who do not even know or understood what the laws of marriage say (whether Sharia or orthodox laws). These teenagers don’t know their rights neither do they understand why they are being sent back home. According to a close aide to Yerima, the sin that often calls for divorce is committed when the girls put to bed. In other words, Yerima sees them as useless and wastes once he impregnates them and they put to bed.

For Senator Yerima marriage or marrying is as simple as going to a nearby super market or store to pick up whatever your purse can afford. To Yerima women, oh sorry wives are like sachets of pure water. They are very cheap and of course everywhere. To say the least they are affordable and available. Yerima is a professor of marriage. He understood the chemistry and mechanism of the exercise more than any human living. To him God freely gave Eve to Adam which implies that he (Yerima) is doing his in-laws a lot of good to even pay bride prize for his child wives. To Yerima women are lesser beings and should be so treated. As far as Yerima is concerned the mystery and sacredness of the institution called marriage does not exist. In fact marriage is not an institution but an ad hoc arrangement meant to satisfy the interests of both parties while it last after which they can as well go their separate ways. To Yerima marriage is simply a contract.

With three child wives in eight years, something is fundamentally wrong or right with Yerima or his desire to marry these kids only to dump them a couple of years after.  Even though Islam as a religion supports multi wives, I don’t think Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Unto Him) dumped or divorced any of his wives in the manner and reason with which Yerima is doing. I don’t also think that there is any verse or portion of the Holy Quran that teaches or supports the practice of dumping women after they bore a child for a man. Perhaps Yerima may have discovered that after his child wives are delivered of babies after complications they cannot bear children again. But is that enough reason to dump or divorce them? No portion or verses of the Holy Quran supports this either.

Yerima’s actions have driven critics to the point of reasoning and imagining that he probably may have hidden agenda or some sort of secret dealings with these child wives. One Olanrewaju Kudaisi tweeted “we cannot fold our arms and allow Yerima to continue painting the picture of our dear and beloved country in a bad light. His actions are making the rest of 150million Nigerians unreasonable. We are talking about a senator of the Federal Republic here. I have a feeling that there is something diabolical or spiritual about his actions on these kids. If government cannot call him to order then ordinary Nigerians should rise up with one voice to condemn this madness.”

There is little anyone can do about Yerima because he sought and secured the consents of the parents and guardians of these girls before taking them as wives. The parents of his latest wife cannot claim to be ignorant of his deeds or the efforts of some human rights activists and a couple of senators who tried to bring him to book when he married the Egyptian girl who he sent packing a fortnight ago some two years ago. Yerima legitimately marries his wives and has the right to divorce any of them when the need arises especially as he did not invite the rest of us when he went to seek the hands of any of his baby wives in marriage. It is therefore the responsibilities of parents to reject his marital offers when he comes dangling his fat carrots before them. They should understand that Yerima also has a stick to support his carrot in his sense of marriage diplomacy. He has effectively used his stick and carrot diplomacy. Dangle $100,000 before poor parents and after a child from the baby wife, she gets the boot.

The issue here boils down to morals. If the parents of the girls don’t think it is morally wrong to give out a 13 year-old child to marriage especially when the groom is not only a polygamist but even older than them (parents of the girls) then no one should call for the neck of Yerima because he is also morally right to do whatever he wishes in the marriage.

I think also that Yerima is exploiting the poor background of his in-laws and in-laws to be while proposing marriage to their children. Do you blame him? African leaders through their leadership style have ensured that there are more beggars in the land. From Morocco to Lesotho, Algeria to South Africa, Egypt to Eritrea, Botswana to Burundi, Sierra Leone to Seychelles and Nigeria to Namibia there is poverty and untold hardship. The people are so poor that they are now the face of poverty each time the Cable News Network (CNN), British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) or Al Jazeera runs a documentary on global inflation or economic instability or recess.

 It is therefore the responsibilities of parents to reject his marital offers when he comes dangling his fat carrots before them. They should understand that Yerima also has a stick to support his carrot in his sense of marriage diplomacy. He has effectively used his stick and carrot diplomacy. Dangle $100,000 before poor parents and after a child from the baby wife, she gets the boot.

The issue here boils down to morals. If the parents of the girls don’t think it is morally wrong to give out a 13 year-old child to marriage especially when the groom is not only a polygamist but even older than them (parents of the girls) then no one should call for the neck of Yerima because he is also morally right to do whatever he will or wishes in the marriage.

If only our leaders can toe the honorable lines, paths and footprints of Late Nelson Mandela by seeking improved life for the people then the likes of Yerima will never marry. We are talking about our own Yerima because we are privilege to know his background and deeds but there are a thousand and one Yerimas around the world who are unknown. If all the deeds and actions of leaders like Mouamer Ghadafi and Saddam Hussein are made public may be some of us will forgive Yerima.

However rather than carry placards and pure water sachets to protest Yerima’s action, let’s channel our energies to challenging African leaders to use our huge economic resources in bettering the lives of the people. By so doing poverty will be alleviated and parents will stop patronizing Yerima by selling their conscience and teenage daughters.

 It is therefore the responsibilities of parents to reject his marital offers when he comes dangling his fat carrots before them. They should understand that Yerima also has a stick to support his carrot in his sense of marriage diplomacy. He has effectively used his stick and carrot diplomacy. Dangle $100,000 before poor parents and after a child from the baby wife, she gets the boot.

The issue here boils down to morals. If the parents of the girls don’t think it is morally wrong to give out a 13 year-old child to marriage especially when the groom is not only a polygamist but even older than them (parents of the girls) then no one should call for the neck of Yerima because he is also morally right to do whatever he will or wishes in the marriage.

About Desmond Ekwueme

desmond.ekwueme@nationalweekender.net

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