Senator Olujimi rejects voting rights for married underage girls

Biodun Olujimi

Senator Biodun Olujimi says she is not in support of any proposal seeking voting powers for underage married girls.

PUNCH reported last week that the chairman, Senate Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission, Senator Kabiru Gaya, and his counterpart in the House of Representatives, Aisha Dukku, presented the proposal to a technical committee on the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

Olujimi told the newspaper in an interview on Tuesday that the focus should be ending child marriage.

According to her, the move is ‘a smart way’ of legalising child marriage prevalent in the north so as to gain advantage over other regions during elections.

“The first thing to attack is the issue of child marriage. We should have a minimum. There has to be a standard to qualify a lady to be either an adult or eligible voter and our constitution has clarified that already,” she said.

“We must stick to our voting age. The proposal is a smart way of bringing a huge chunk of people into the voting system. That is not right, it is not correct.

“Whoever that is married to an underage lady should be patient until such a girl turns 18 before, she should be allowed to vote. This may even prevent those marrying underage girls from further defiling our children.”

Olujimi said she would reject the proposal if it is brought to the Senate.