17-year-old girl seeks divorce from husband

A 17-year-old girl, Fatima Baba, has appealed to the Niger Child Right Protection Agency to dissolve her one-month-old marriage.

Fatima, who is married to 35-year-old Salihu Mohammed, told the agency on Tuesday in Minna, that she was no more in love with her husband, a resident of Shaba Legbo village in Gbako Local Government Area of the state.

She pleaded with the agency to dissolve her marriage to enable her further her education.

“I was given in marriage to Salihu by my family, who thought I will have a better life with him.

“I do not want this marriage; I do not love this man. I want a divorce because I want to go to school and it is only when I am divorced that I can return to school,” she said.

In his response, Mr. Mohammed said that he married his wife legally, and with the consent of her family.

He said that Salihu Mustapha, his wife’s uncle, gave her to him in marriage after she consented.

“At first, my wife was happy with the marriage until she suddenly changed her mind and opted for a divorce.

“I still love my wife and I want to spend my life with her, but if she wants a divorce, I have no objection. I cannot force her to remain in the union,” he said.

Halilu Shaba, the District Head of Shaba Legbo, in his reaction, told the agency that parents in the community were fond of forcing their children into early marriage.

“Some also send their children to become house-maids, thereby denying them the opportunity to go to school,” he said.

He commended the agency for its intervention, adding that such step would serve as deterrent to parents.

The Director-General of the agency, Maryam Kolo, commended Fatima for the courage to seek for divorce, and gave both families a two-week ultimatum within which to dissolve the marriage.

“If you fail to do so within the two weeks, the agency will file for divorce on behalf of the girl in a Sharia Court,” she said.

Mrs. Kolo warned parents and community leaders against forcing children into early marriage thereby denying them the opportunity to acquire western education.

She said that early marriage had many disadvantages including the risk of Vesico Vaginal Fistula, VVF, diseases.

Mrs. Kolo advised other girls to emulate Fatima’s bravery and report similar matters to the agency.



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  • GOV11

    She’s a brave girl. I applaud her courage.

  • Nkem

    All is well that ends well. Alhamdu Lilahi.

  • George

    Send her to emir wicked sanusi palace she will have a change of mind.

    Yeye Hausa

    • Waandu

      Did the story say they were Hausa people?

      • Nnamdi Ugwuadu

        Yes! By their names, they are Hausa/Fulani.

        • Waandu

          People in that part of Niger state can also be Nupe. That may not matter to you though.

  • Julius

    What a shame. A 35 years old man married to a 17 year old girl !. What is wrong with these people. I wish her the best and hopefully she will get some support from somewhere /somebody because her family might not be happy with her decision to seek divorce .

  • Netanyahu

    The goat could have had this poor girl as a daughter, at 35 as against 17 years. Who will help this girl because her family and uncle will arrange for another old man for her. I pity those awusa girls. They want to be like us, educated and liberated, but their medieval culture and religion condemn them to dressing like egungu masquerade in hot steaming desert weather. The governor’s wife should take up this girl’s case and make sure her dreams are fulfilled.

  • tunde

    People from that part of Nigeria could be Hausa or Fulani,Nupe or Kamberi, and Bokobaru.