Female PDP senator vows to reject underaged married girls as voters
Senator Biodun Olujimi (PDP – Ekiti South) says the proposed amendment to the Electoral Act seeking to register child brides as voters “doesn’t make sense”.
She vowed to reject the proposal should it become a subject of debate in the Senate.
According to her, it was nothing but “a smart way” of legalising child marriage and such would never have her support.
Olujimi said that if allowed to sail through, registering child brides as voters would confer an unfair advantage on a particular region over others during elections.
Last week, The Herald reported a proposal by the Joint Committee of the National Assembly on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) recommending that underaged married girls be allowed to vote during elections.
Senate INEC Committee Chairman, Senator Kabiru Gaya and his House counterpart, Aisha Dukku, had presented the proposal to a Technical Committee on the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.
Child brides in the North are estimated to be no fewer than 40 million.
In an interaction with journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, Olujimi said, “The idea of capturing underage married girls in our electoral system by recognising them as voters doesn’t make sense.
“Only the adult, as defined by the Nigerian constitution should be eligible to vote. Why should we be proposing a law that would suddenly turn our young children to adults?
“The first thing to attack is the issue of child marriage. We should have a minimum. There has to be a standard to qualify a lady to be either an adult or eligible voter and our constitution has clarified that already.
“We must stick to our voting age. The proposal is a smart way of bringing a huge chunk of people into the voting system. That is not right, it is not correct.
“Whoever that is married to an underage lady should be patient until such a girl turns 18 before, she should be allowed to vote. This may even prevent those marrying underage girls from further defiling our children.
“When the matter is brought to the floor of the Senate, we will surely be there to attack and reject it because I will not sit down and watch my 14-year-old granddaughter, turned into an adult all of a sudden because you want to commit electoral fraud.”