Nigeria’s 23 million child brides
IT has emerged from the Common Country Analysis (CCA) report sponsored by the United Nations (UN) that Nigeria has 23 million child brides, the largest in Africa. About 43 per cent of these children were reportedly married off before their 18th birthday, while 17 per cent were married off before their 15th birthday. And the 23 million figure has been predicted to double by 2050 based on current trends. These damning statistics might be embarrassing but they are by no means shocking. It is common to see babies producing babies all over the place, especially in the North where the premium placed on education is still somewhat low. The insistence by many on sticking to the cultural practice of early marriage that has perpetuated poverty in a cyclical fashion is a major cause. The situation is also not helped by the unfortunate complicity of some elite who hide under the cloak of religion to participate in and encourage their ilk to sustain the dated and obnoxious cultural practice.