A controversial marriage between an aged man identified as Mallam Sani and a young girl, purported to be underaged, is now provoking outrage on social media.

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On Monday, the photograph of a souvenir handed out at the wedding event, which held on January 22, surfaced on Twitter.

In the image, the young bride who is dressed in Hijab is seen standing alongside her white-bearded husband.

The development has raised questions pertaining to the legality of the union in relation to the age of the girl who was married off.

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It has also angered some Nigerians who took to the microblogging platform to air their different views.

“This kind of absurd wedding is uncalled for and should be discourage by all … Habba Mallam Sani,” Usman Okai Austin wrote.

Quame said: “Mallam Sani got no shame. He’s a pervert and an old fool. Yes, I said it,” while another user added: “There is love, sorry, rape in the air.

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On her part, Aisha Abdullahi said: “She should be in school while Malam Sani should be in a nursing home. All parties involved and especially her parents should be arrested. #endchildmarriages Ffs.”

“This is all shades of wrong….. This girl doesn’t even look like a teenager. Why would her parents give her off to someone as old as this,” Susan wrote.

“A girl old enough to be his grand child? She barely even knows how to use a sanitary pad properly!,” another user added.

Although the age for consent differs across countries, getting married before 18 is considered underage in Nigeria. According to a 2020 World Bank report, an estimated 44 percent of girls in Nigeria are married before they’re 18.

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Apart from its consequences for fertility, health, and wellbeing, child marriage has far-reaching macroeconomic and sustainability repercussions that undermine the government’s ability to mobilize resources for development.

After a 2016 study, the Africa Health, Human & Social Development Information Service and Africa Coalition on Maternal Newborn & Child Health warned that it also makes it impossible for Africa to sustainably end poverty.

“Creating an underclass of tens of millions of girls/women that are economically dependent on their abusers – underage/child/forced ‘marriage’ – is deepening and normalising the feminisation of poverty,” they had stated.

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