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THE COST OF FORCED CHILD MARRIAGES & HOW GEN. MURTALA MUHAMMED’S SISTER WAS FORCED INTO MARRIAGE AT AGE 13 YEARS

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PROMOTING FAMILY VALUES — SILENT HEROES SERIES — THE COST OF FORCED CHILD MARRIAGES & HOW GEN. MURTALA MUHAMMED’S SISTER WAS FORCED INTO MARRIAGE AT AGE 13 YEARS Balaraba Ramat Yakubu is best known as an author and publisher of some books. But she means more than that to the Nigerian society; and in reality, womanhood, particularly those who were forced into early marriages. In spite of the fact that Balaraba was deprived the opportunity of having Western education, she still combines intellect with ruggedness that have both largely accounted for the successes she has attained in life so far. All things put together, there is every possibility that she would have recorded greater achievements if she was not deprived the opportunity of receiving prescribed education on account of forced marriage. Undeniably, Balaraba Ramat Yakubu is a woman whose story is worth telling and reading by the younger generation; and even by old people who would certainly gain one or more lessons from the contents of her books. Born 60 years ago in Kano, Kano State, Nigeria, Balaraba is a younger sister to late fiery Gen. Murtala Rufai Ramat Muhammed, Nigeria’s Military Head of State from 1975-1976.  Balaraba is a victim of circumstance, having been withdrawn from school at the age of 13 years 47 years ago, and forced into an early marriage. She is now 60 years old. In spite of her predicament, she was undaunted and still forged ahead to put obstacles aside in her journey through Planet Earth. FORCED TO MARRY INSTEAD OF SCHOOLING: Her brother, Murtala Muhammed objected to the child marriage arrangement, but could not successfully reverse their father’s resolve to marry out Balaraba, who was then 13 years old, at that tender age.  Fate struck after only one year of marriage, and Balaraba, who was definitely immature to go through the stress of marriage divorced and returned to her parents. It is partly for this reason that Balaraba Ramat prefers to turn out her books in Hausa language so the messages could penetrate. Balaraba never went far in acquisition of Western education. She enrolled in an Islamic school in her neighbourhood and later the Jarkasa Primary School near the palace of the Emir of Kano. Her zeal for education led her to adult non formal education classes of the Kano State Agency for Mass Education where she had a certificate in Sewing and Knitting. She…

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