Disturbing photos of a traditional wedding ceremony which reportedly took place in Kano state, Nigeria between a 28-year-old man and a 10-year-old girl have surfaced online.
The photos ignited a spirited debate on Twitter, with many demanding for the swift arrest of the alleged pedophile.
Media reports claim the wedding was held last Sunday, January 17 in Northern Nigeria.
According to Arewa magazine, the man married the 10-year-old as second wife.
In another grid of photos, the girl is seen wearing a smile on her face – an expression that many believed is forced.
Nigerian media claim such occurrences are rampant in the Northern region of the country, and that authorities often fail to take action on perpetrators of such undesirable acts.
Former Central Bank Governor, 54, weds woman, 18
In September 25, 2015 Nigeria’s former Central Bank Governor and Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, 54, tied the knot with an 18-year-old princess from Adamawa State, Sa’adatu Barkindo-Musdafa.
The action led to an online protest by Nigerians who claimed Sa’adatu was too young to be married to Sanusi II.
The secret wedding ceremony saw Kano government officials sneak into Yola (the state’s capital) for the wedding fatiha to avoid journalists.
In his response to the reproach he received, Sanusi II said: “Obviously I do not need to explain anything to anyone in a purely personal matter but a few points are worthy of note: The lady in question (Sa’adatu) is 18 and therefore legally of age to marry under all laws and certainly under Muslim law.”
The embattled leader also claimed that the girl willingly tied the knot with him, despite their huge age gap.
“The young lady gave her free consent and even after the contract the wedding will not happen for a few years. By then she may be 21. If she freely consents to this I do not know on what moral grounds anyone has a grouse…” stated the prominent leader.
Sanusi II also came to the defense of Northern Nigerians, saying intergenerational marriage is their “culture”.
“Even in Nigeria I have heard all this stuff about “north” and northerners. Again it is a failure to respect difference. There are parts of this country where parents expect their daughters to live with their boyfriends for years and actually get pregnant before they marry. It has become culture,” stated Sanusi II.
“We do not have that in the north. If your daughter gets pregnant before marriage, she brings nothing but shame to the name. But we do not issue condemnations. We agree that this is how they choose to live,” said Sanusi II.
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