The Emir of Kano State, Mallam Muhammad Sanusi II, has urged individuals in the North who are well-to-do to use their financial blessing from Allah not only to build mosques but also to educate girls and discourage their early marriage.
“I’m just tired of people coming to me to say I want to build a new mosque. You know, we keep building mosques and our daughters are illiterates.
“So, my appeal is that if you really want to help Kano, don’t come to me with a request to build a N300m mosque because I have enough mosques everywhere. And if I don’t have a mosque, I’ll build it myself. If you really want to help, go and educate a girl child in the village.”
According to the Emir, more than 50 percent of girls between the age bracket of 18 and 20 were given out in marriage in the northern part of Nigeria. He further added that the worrisome aspect of it was that 75 per cent of them could neither read nor write.
Sanusi said this on Thursday, 20 January, 2017 in his keynote address at the 3rd international conference on Islamic Banking and Finance, organised by the International Institute of Islamic Banking and Finance, Bayero University, Kano.
Recommending a review of laws to prevent early marriage and encourage girl-child education, he said:
“It is not a mere coincidence that this is where you have the highest levels of illiteracy, early marriage, divorce and the highest levels of domestic violence…
“People need to understand that the law has to change. If you look at the medical data on maternal health, girls who get pregnant below the age of 15 are five times as likely to die as girls who get pregnant at the age of 20. Those who get pregnant under 18 are twice as likely to die as those who get pregnant at the age of 20. So, it is important that we look at this issue of early marriage”.
Meanwhile, Muhammadu Sanusi II, in 2015, charged parents, especially those in the rural areas, to desist from subjecting their children to labour and trafficking. He admonished parents not to engage their girl-child in street hawking, or send them to cities for labour, adding that life doesn’t go smoothly without education and good moral upbringing.