The senator representing Zamfara Central, Kabir Marafa, yesterday, expressed surprise about the fact that female senators have been silent over the plight of women in his state, noting that they protested when Ahmed Yerima, a former governor of the state, married an underage girl.
Yerima’s marriage to a 13-year-old girl in 2010 drew widespread criticisms, as human rights organisations said the senator broke the law and should be arrested.
Marafa while contributing to a debate, yesterday, on a motion to commemorate Children’s Day, said there was an estimated 5,000 cases of rape in the state.
He said: “I expect the women, especially of this Senate, to stand up shoulder to shoulder with women in Zamfara State.
“A situation was raised where a commissioner’s wife and her six children were kidnapped in their house and three days into the journey, nobody knows where she is.
“This caught the attention of the media and everybody because it is a commissioner’s wife. But the issue of kidnapping is a daily thing in Zamfara State today. There is an estimated 5000 victims of rape and we have said it in this chamber but up till now, the women have not stood up to say enough is enough of this very bad incident.
“Whereas in the 6th assembly, when my colleague and my leader, Senator Ahmed Yerima, fulfilled one of his religious rites by marrying a lady with the consent of her parents, almost whole of this chamber was pulled upside down.
“That he married an underage girl, which is nobody’s business in anyway because her parents consented to the marriage and Yerima is a Muslim and he married the girl according to Muslim rites. But so much noise was made in this country to the extent that they staged a protest on the streets of Abuja.”
The senator said the children in Zamfara had right to life, noting that “you are talking of child’s rights. We in Zamfara are talking of child’s survival. I want to see you stand up to say the children of Zamfara have the right to survive. There is humanitarian crisis in Zamfara.’’