A former Zamfara State governor, Senator Ahmad Yerima, has said that his Egyptian wife who he allegedly married as a 14 years old in 2010, is in the process of obtaining a masters degree.
Recall that Yerima sent shockwaves across the globe when reports emerged that he had married a minor at the national mosque in Abuja in 2010.
The outrage also prompted a Senate probe.
However, while featuring on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Friday night, Yerima defended his actions, saying his marriage to his wife has not stopped her education.
“She is doing her Master’s Degree now.
“I told you my own daughter who was married at the age of 16, is doing her Ph.D”
“Marriage does not stop people from getting educated,” Yerima said.
Yerima also criticised the Child Rights Act (2003) and the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (2015), saying whatever act is passed at the National Assembly has to be domesticated by the state assemblies.
“And once they have not done that, it’s no longer a law,” he added.
The former governor alleged that former President Olusegun Obasanjo “tried to smuggle the Child Rights Act”.
“He passed it at the National Assembly through some manipulations but I don’t think any state in the North domesticated it and passed it,” Yerima said.
Asked to share his views on whether children deserve the right to education and other freedoms enshrined in the Child Rights Act, he argued that marriage could not stop education.
Probed further on the level of education of his Egyptian wife, he said, “She’s doing her master’s degree now.”
Yerima also noted that his daughter whom he had given away in marriage at the age of 16 “is doing her Ph.D. in London”
On the claim that he paid $100,000 as dowry for the Egyptian girl’s hand in marriage, the former Zamfara governor noted that “it’s not dowry.”
He explained further that “all other things” stipulated as conditions for the marriage were counted to arrive at that figure.
“Provision of the house, provision of dowry, the dresses that she has to wear, everything [in] total,” he said. “At that time, it was just N15 million.”
One can give as much as is requested of them in marriage by Sharia Law, Yerima disclosed.
“Whatever you have to do in marriage is clearly stipulated under the Sharia Law. You have to provide for a house for the girl, if you’re marrying her, like, from the condition the Egyptian government’s law provides,” he said.