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54-year-old man weds 4-year-old in Bayelsa

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By Mercy Kelani

Gov't argued that it contradicted the principles of natural justice & fairness.

Parents of a four-year-old girl and the 54-year-old man, who were supposedly engaged in matrimony, have been summoned by the Bayelsa State Government to attend a meeting. The alleged marriage is said to have taken place in Akeddei community in the Sagbama Local Government Area. According to a report, the government has decided to intervene following widespread media coverage of a marriage between a child and an adult man that took place on December 2nd. On December 30, 2023, the state capital of Yenagoa received a statement from the government, expressing their response to the situation.

Dise Ogbise-Goddy, the chairperson of the Gender Response Initiative Team in Bayelsa State, and Paniebi Jacob, the director of Child Development in the Ministry of Women Affairs, Children, and Social Development, have both affixed their signatures to this joint statement. The marriage, deemed as illegal by the state government due to its reliance on tradition and customs, was strongly disapproved. The government argued that it contradicted the principles of natural justice, fairness, and moral consciousness.

Bayelsa State Gov’t does not condone or endorse child marriage.

The controversial marriage complaint received by the Ministry of Women, Children Affairs, and Social Development, along with the Gender Response Initiative Team, has been officially acknowledged as mentioned in their statement. DO Foundation, a child rights advocacy group, submitted the formal complaint. Jacob Ogbise-Goddy, and the Human Rights Commission representative of the state reported that the traditional leader of Akeddei acknowledged and accepted the government’s request. The traditional leader made a commitment to present the child, her parents, the groom, the youth leader, and the Community Development Committee’s chairman, as requested.

In no way does the Bayelsa State Government condone or endorse child marriage, as explicitly stated in their official statement. The quick approval of the Bayelsa State Child Rights Law by the state government was an unmistakable reflection of their unwavering commitment to protecting the well-being and rights of children. The state government is actively engaging in measures to save the child from the grasp of all individuals involved in what they misleadingly labeled as a mere spiritual event, but is, in fact, an illegal ceremony.

Her parents said the man aged 54 was her spouse in a previous existence.

Furthermore, the government has a clear understanding of the law when it comes to matters of tradition and customs that go against natural justice, fairness, and a sense of right and wrong. Collaborating with the Bayelsa State Police Command, their aim is to prevent any similar incidents from happening in the state in the future. The government extended its heartfelt appreciation to all the non-governmental organizations, such as FIDA and DO Foundation, for their commendable efforts in coming to the aid of this innocent child. The governor of Bayelsa State joined in expressing gratitude for their tremendous support.

Also, Bayelsa State ensures a hospitable environment for children, leaving no doubt that this matter will be relentlessly pursued until a satisfactory resolution is achieved. It was discovered that the parents of the young girl were the ones responsible for arranging the supposed marriage with the man named Elder Akpos. A claim has been made by the girl’s parents, stating that the man aged 54 was her spouse in a previous existence, as reported by an undisclosed source. Based on what the local community source shared, the girl insisted that the man had been her spouse in a past life, and his demise had occurred under enigmatic circumstances.

She stated her intention to pass away serenely if she does not marry him.

According to accounts, the young girl supposedly shared her life story, revealing a continuous journey from one location to another under various guardians, in her relentless pursuit of reuniting with her ex-partner. According to the informant, the young bride firmly voiced that if she were denied the opportunity to wed her husband, she would opt for no other engagements within the locale of Akeddei. Moreover, she professed her intention to pass away serenely, departing on her own unique path. To prevent the tragic loss of the girl from the clutches of death, the inhabitants of Akeddei chose to orchestrate an opulent wedding celebration, symbolizing the marriage of these two souls who were intertwined in their past lives.


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AN-Toni
Editor
2 months ago

54-year-old man weds 4-year-old in Bayelsa.Gov’t argued that it contradicted the principles of natural justice & fairness. Express your point of view.

Adeoye Adegoke
Member
2 months ago

That’s a really concerning situation. In my opinion, child marriage is absolutely unacceptable and goes against the principles of human rights, equality, and protection of children. It’s important to prioritize the well-being and safety of children above all else.
Children, especially at such a young age, are not capable of making informed decisions about marriage. They deserve the opportunity to grow, learn, and enjoy their childhood without being forced into such adult responsibilities. Child marriage can have severe physical, emotional, and psychological consequences for the child involved.
It’s encouraging to hear that the government recognizes that this situation contradicts the principles of natural justice and fairness. It’s crucial for the government to take strong action to protect children and ensure that child marriages are prevented and those responsible are held accountable.
Education, awareness, and legal measures are all important tools in combating child marriage. By promoting education and empowering communities, we can work towards changing harmful practices and creating a better future for children.

SarahDiv
Member
2 months ago

The reported marriage of a four-year-old girl to a 54-year-old man is distressing and goes against our societal values. The government’s swift intervention is crucial, and the commitment to child rights is commendable. This incident highlights the need for ongoing efforts to protect our children from harmful practices. It’s a reminder that we must uphold laws and cultural norms that prioritize the well-being and dignity of our young ones.

Taiwo
Member
2 months ago

An elderly man of 54 years marries a 4-year-old in Bayelsa. According to the government, it went against the ideas of natural justice and equity. In Bayelsa, this is an incredibly savage deed. This obviously violates people’s rights. Our strong condemnation of this act is imperative. A kid cannot consent to marry before the age of eighteen, according to the kid’s Right Act.

Kazeem1
Member
2 months ago

It is really worrisome to learn that a four-year-old girl is getting married to a 54-year-old guy. It is admirable that the government acted so quickly to put a halt to this unlawful and immoral act. It emphasizes how important it is to keep shielding our kids from these dangerous habits.