A 14-year-old girl, Maimuna Abdullahi, who has been married
divorced to a man that was twice her age, has just told her sad story.
late 2012, Maimuna who grew up on the outskirts of Kaduna, was sold
into marriage by her parents for £120 (N35,000). Her father, Haruna
Abdullahi arranged for her to be married to his friend’s eldest son,
Saidu who was twice her age. At that time she was 13-years-old.
Maimuna Abdullahi at school
to Daily Mail report, she was abused by her new husband, who locked her
away and forced hard labour on her. She ran away to her father’s house
and rather than receive a warm welcome, she was beaten by her father who
later returned her to her husband’s house.
Saidu, humiliated and
furious, slapped her repeatedly in the face, jerking her head from side
to side with the force of his blows.
Related: “My Husband Treated Me As A Sex Object” – Child Bride Who Was Married At The Age Of 11 Speaks Out
some time, she fled once again, first to a sympathetic aunt in a nearby
village and then to a cousin in Kaduna where she now shares one cramped
room with her cousin’s family, just a short walk away from Tattalli
school. When she showed up at school with bruises, they took her to the
hospital, where doctors found she was badly malnourished. The whip marks
on her back may last a lifetime, says teacher Victoria Dung.
husband waited the customary three months to make sure there was no
baby and then he divorced her, as a husband can do under shariah or
Islamic law by declaring the divorce aloud three times. He then informed
her parents and asked for his dowry back but Maimuna’s father had
already spent the money.
who explained that he no longer cares for Maimuna and will move ahead
with his life sasi, “This time I will marry a girl of 12, so that she
will do what I want to do because if you marry a girl who is older, then
she will not listen to you.”
Maimuna considers herself among the
lucky ones. She said, “I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up
but, even if I get married, I want to have some education to back me up.
I pray that what I have done will help the younger ones, that my
parents learn from the experience of my running away from home.”
Related: 62-Year-Old Chief Weds A 15-Year-Old Girl In KZN, South Africa
is one of thousands in Nigeria who were forced into marriage and have
since run away or been thrown out by their husbands, and shockingly, her
husband blames his beaten former bride for her ordeal, saying she was
disobedient and over-educated.
Some girls are rebelling in other
ways. In April, a 14-year-old girl who was forced to marry a 39-year-old
poisoned the groom’s food a week after their wedding, killing him and
three of his friends.