June 25, 2024

Central News

at the center of it

Bayelsa State govt frets as 54-yr old man takes toddler for a bride

BAYELSA State government has invited the parents of a four-year-old girl, and the 54-year-old man allegedly involved in a marriage in Akeddei community in the Sagbama local government area of the state, for questioning.
Recall media reports that went viral of a marriage between the child-bride and the 54-year-old.
In a statement on Saturday, the state government frowns at the development, terming the so-called marital union illegal.
That statement is jointly signed by state chairman of Gender Response Initiative Team Dr. Dise Ogbise-Goddy, and director of Child Development at the state Ministry of Women Affairs, Children and Social Development Mr. Paniebi Jacob.
Bayelsa State government says the “illegal marriage” is not based on any known tradition or customs and that it is repugnant to natural justice, equity and good conscience.
Meanwhile, the Human Rights Commission in the state says the traditional ruler of the Akeddei community honoured the government’s invitation and promises to produce the child, her parents, the “groom”, youth leader in the community and the Community Development Committee chairman.
“The Bayelsa State government did not hesitate to assent to the passage of the Bayelsa State Child Rights Law.
“We are taking steps to rescue the child from all the key actors in this illegal ceremony that they tagged a ‘mere spiritual’ affair.
“The law is clear on issues of tradition and customs that are repugnant to natural justice, equity and good conscience. Working with the Bayelsa State Police Command, we shall ensure incidents like this do not occur in the state again.
“On behalf of the governor of Bayelsa State, we express our gratitude to all the non-governmental organisations, including the International Federation of Women Lawyers and DO Foundation, that have risen to the rescue of this innocent child.
“Bayelsa State is children-friendly and this case will be pursued to a logical conclusion.”
These are strong words in the joint statement.
However, several media reports have alleged that the marriage involving the man, simply identified as Elder Akpos, was at the instant of the girl’s parents.