Senator Sani Yerima, Tufiakwa!
Baby-boomer Sani Yerima has just taken delivery of his fourth wife. As a Muslim, we cannot accuse him of bigamy. A fourth wife is just it for a Muslim who has enough harvest in his barn to cater for such indulgence. The Muslim religion allows for up to four wives. So, in the case of Yerima, we ought to be clinking glasses in animated celebration. But there is a snag. Yerima’s wife is also his daughter or even grand daughter. She’s a 13-year-old Egyptian girl, a soft-spoken, pliant and innocent virgin. That’s the person that appealed to Yerima most; that captured his dirty heart and captivated his depraved sense of love. Even Pharaoh with all his shortcomings would not have approved of this act of savagery.
Taking a starry-eyed 13-year-old as wife is a pastime only fit for maniacs. It is the stuff of decadent minds. But Yerima is not new to such dissolute acts. Recall he was governor of Zamfara State for eight years, from 1999 to 2007. He was the chief proponent of Sharia law. He introduced the Islamic legal code in his Zamfara State. A man of such near-manic passion to please his God ought to be a repository of morals, a beacon of rectitude and exemplar of the finest virtues of civility. Not so for Yerima.
As governor, he got the hand of Citizen Jangebi chopped off in the name of justice. Jangebi’s offence was grave, very grave. He was convicted by a Sharia court for stealing a cow. Yes, a cow, which as at then was not more than N60,000 in the market. That’s a grave offence, my dear. And for stealing such rare quadruped specie, Yerima got Jangebi’s hand amputated. Yerima defended his action amidst a swirling tide of public outrage. Yet, while he was governor, there was rumour of billions of Naira flying out of government coffers into private pockets. It ceased to be rumour when former boss of the anti-crime agency, EFCC, Nuhu Ribadu, singled out Yerima for lampooning.
While tendering the report of the investigations carried out by the EFCC on serving governors during ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo regime, Ribadu told a bewildered National Assembly that the variant of corruption in Yerima’s Zamfara was of the primitive genre. “It was a case of direct stealing”, a seething Ribadu told his audience.
And this is my quarrel with Yerima’s moral self-glorification. A man who would crucify a fellow man for stealing N60,000 has showed up to play the role of officiating minister at the funeral when the same man cannot account for billions of Naira put under his care. Yerima’s case file is still at the EFCC. I hope he hasn’t forgotten that. But that’s by the way.
So, Yerima now has a fourth wife. A 13-year-old virgin, an infant who has just shed her milk dentition; a babyish little angel, pure and chaste, and whose only consciousness of life and its essence is the natural order of sleeping and waking. A 13 year-old is a juvenile. Such a person in the full bloom of her frailties could easily be forgiven of multitude of offences. She scarcely knows her left from her right. She’s vulnerable and always in danger of exploitation.
A 13-year-old as wife? Think about it. At 13, she ought to be in school, junior school, not in Yerima’s arms. At 13, she should be under the guidance of her parents or surrogate parents who would still have to guide her through the slippery contours of life. But Yerima would not let this be. He harvested her before her prime. This is cruelty against infants, a case of man’s inhumanity to man. And to think that this Yerima is a lawmaker adds vinegar to an already soured broth. Yerima is a serving senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He was elected to make laws for the good governance of the people. As a lawmaker, there ought to be acceptable minimum moral standard, an ingrained measure of sanity in the conduct of the person. Not so here! We are dealing with a Yerima whose brain has sunk into his waist line, whose blood is a mixture of chlorine and potash and whose sense of civilization is to go about siring babies through babies; a crueller case of babies making babies. Yerima is a religious zealot but I wonder if his God will tolerate, let alone accept, the conduct of a faithful especially when such conduct tends to banality and bestiality.
Yerima’s action is an act of shame. It is a primitive indulgence whose end point is pain. He will only add to the number of vestico vagina fistula, VVF, victims in the North. VVF is a health condition symptomised by the leakage of urine and faeces through the vagina. It usually afflicts young girls who were forced into early pregnancy by the likes of Yerima. Such girls are usually too young to bear the pangs of child birth and its associated risks. Their tender vagina and adjunct channels are lacerated and perforated during child birth. It is from these holes that urine and faeces leak out, making the victims stink and smell. It is an unpleasant condition and victims are usually treated as outcasts. Yet, such persons are not only victims of an unpleasant health condition, they are actually victims of the sexual indiscretion of some beastly men, the likes of Yerima.
The essence of religion is to temper man and make him more responsible and responsive to his environment. Islam as a religion has produced great souls, men of unblemished moral credentials, men who would teach Yerima that there is a more excellent and nobler way to satiate our passion, not hunkering over an innocent 13-year-old. Tufiakwa to evil! Yerima should repent.
This article was first published in BusinessDay two years ago.