Finally, it looks like some Muslim faithfuls in Nigeria have come to understand the plight of under-aged children who are given out in marriage long before they even get to know what the word means, hence, the need to ban child marriage among the Islamic communities in the country.
Premium Times report reveals that the Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi, has taken the lead in speaking up on the need to ban child marriage as he advocated a ban on marriage of women below 18 years, saying most of the women suffering from reproductive health challenges were products of such marriages.
As he said, it was high time the Muslim community lived by the reality of economic recession and consequences of early marriage.
Emir Sanusi said this while speaking at a workshop organised by the Northern Islamic Forum in Kano on Tuesday, adding that the era when people gave out their daughters in marriage at early ages and asked the husbands to wait till they were ripe was mere deception. The strategy according to him, no longer worked as it had been the cause of so many cases of divorce and other ugly situations.
The Former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria recalled that both the poor and the rich who married four wives and above, and gave birth to about 30 to 40 children, did so because the economy was not only buoyant but also because they were not dependent on government for sustenance.
He lamented that even though the harsh economic situation in the country makes it difficult for people to feed two times a day, “unfortunately our people do not change and somebody with virtually nothing still give birth to 20 or 30 children and this must stop”.
Mr. Sanusi further stated that there was an urgent need to peg the marriage age now because of the challenges early marriage was posing. He cited Egypt, saying there marriage age at present was pegged at 18 while that of Malaysia and Morocco were 19 and 17 respectively. This prompted him to then ask the question: “why not we here urgently call for pegging of marriage ages within Muslim Umma in Nigeria?”
He argued that since Nigeria Muslims also practice the Malikiys School of thought as these countries, “we should follow suit and peg our own marriage ages for our own good”.
Mr. Sanusi called on the relevant authorities to create a law that would punish anybody that gave birth to children and allowed them to suffer, adding that most of those neglected children not only turned victims of social vices but also engage in terrorism.
Child marriage exposes the victims to responsibilities that they are both physically and mentally immature to handle and most times, ends up destroying the life of the ‘girl-wife’. This is therefore a fight that posterity will live to remember the Emir for if only he will pursue it to the end using his position.