By Chioma Obinna
Wife of presiding bishop of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission, TREM, Bishop Peace Okonkwo had joined other Nigerians to condemn the attempt by the National Assembly to legalize underage girl-child marriage, describing it as “complete child abuse and inhuman”.
Speaking at a one-day free medical fair organised by Women of Global Impact, WGI, in collaboration with the Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation to screen at least 1,000 women for breast and cervical cancers among other health checks, Okonkwo queried; who among those championing the underage marriage could give out his girl child at the age of 13 years.
She further described it as inhuman to give out a child who is still forming out for marriage at a tender age of 13.
“I do not support child marriage one bit. It is completely child abuse and I believe no good Christian should support child marriage. These children are still forming and have not fully grown. And you are giving the child out for marriage? I don’t support it.”
“It is painful that when it comes to other people’s children, we will know what to do but we can never ask ourselves one simple question, can I give out my child that is 12 or 14 years to a man to marry?
As a mother, she said; “I cannot do that. So I advise that the National Assembly should put a stop to such Bill. I should allow my child to go to school and get educated.
“Marriage is what you do for life. Why should I say she should marry at 13 or 15? At least, you can talk about marriage as from 20 years if God wishes so,” she added.
On the one-day she said it was part of her PEACE Campaign flagged-off in 2012 to create awareness as well as assist in the treatment of infected women.