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Delegates reject self-determination, Plea bargain

BY HENRY UMORU, JOSEPH ERUNKE & LEVINUS NWABUGHIOGU

Delegates at the National Conference in Abuja
Delegates at the National Conference in Abuja

ADELEGATE, Pius Tabi Tawo has proposed an inclusion of a provision for self- determination in the constitution.

Tawo said such measure would not only restore total peace among the various ethno-religious groups in the country but bring about mutual respect among people.

Contributing to a debate on the report of the Committee on Law, Judiciary and Human Rights, Tawo said the absence of a provision for self-determination in the nation’s constitution was largely responsible for the many crises Nigeria is currently facing.

Citing Ethiopia, where he said, has self-determination provision in its constitution, he said the development had considerably arrested problems that would have arisen due largely to lack of respect for some peoples’ tribes, religions and dignity.

Tawo insisted that if the existing constitution had captured the provision, some of the things happening in the country which had disadvantaged some ethnic groups, zones or religions would not happen.

But during voting, the conference threw it out.Equally dismissed was the concept of plea bargain in the Nigerian laws.

Also contributing to the debate, Senator Saidu Dansadau, from Zamfara State, frowned at Muslims in the Northern part of the country over what he called non-adherence to Islamic injunction regarding Islamic marriage.

Dansadau, who represents Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF at the conference frowned at what he described as impunity by Northern Muslims regarding marriage, saying young girls were being married only to be divorced after giving birth to reasonable number of children by their husbands.

He said the rate of divorce and remarrying by Muslims in the region was quite alarming and urged the conference to enact laws that would curb what he described as “excessive divorce” by some northerners.

Insisting that the rate at which northern Muslims divorce their wives was “irresponsible,” Senator Dansadau suggested that a commission with the name “Women and Children Islamic Rights Commission be established to protect married women in the area.

He told delegates that he had a friend, who had divorced about 74 times adding that the practice among northerners, whereby some men would marry a young lady at 17 and divorce her after having eight children should be condemned.

His words: “Hausa men divorce with impunity; it is not a lie. I have a cousin who has married 74 times. It is only in Hausaland that you have a man marrying a girl at 17 or 18 and after eight children, divorce her. State Houses of Assembly should have commission to protect the rights of women and children. Women should take their cases to this commission for redress.

Those divorced wrongly should also take their matters there because the Islamic injunctions on divorce are not being followed by Muslim men.”

 


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