Emir of Kano condemns child by Muslims, wants stiffer penalty
The Emir of Kano and former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has come out strongly against the practice of child marriage within the Muslim community.
In a statement released by the Emir just days after accusations were made against the Emir of Katsina for marrying a 14-year-old bride whom her parents claimed was abducted and forcefully converted, he underscored the health and other negative conseqences of such marriage..
The statement reads, “Marriage of women below 18 years) – Women are suffering from reproductive health challenges were products of such marriages.
Time had come when the Muslim community should live by the reality of economic recession and consequences of early marriage.
The era when people gave out their daughters in marriage at early ages and asked the husbands to wait till they were ripe was nothing but a deception. According to me, strategy no longer worked as it had led to cases of divorce and other ugly situations. In the past the rich and the poor married four wives and bore between 30 and 40children because the economy was not only buoyant but also because people were not relying on government for sustenance.
Though the harsh economic realities now make it impossible for people to feed twice a day these days, “Unfortunately our people do not change and somebody with virtually nothing still give birth to 20or 30 children and this must stop”.
There was a need to peg the marriage age now because of the challenges early marriage was posing. The marriage age in Egypt at present was 18 while that of Malaysia and Morocco were 19 and 17 respectively, asking “Why not we here urgently call for pegging of marriage ages within Muslim Ummah in Nigeria?”
Nigerian Muslims also practice the Malikiyas School of thought as these countries, “We should follow suit and peg our own marriage ages for our own good”.
I urge the relevant authorities to create a law that would punish anybody that gave birth to children and allowed them to suffer. Most of those neglected children not only turned victims of social vices but also engage in terrorism.
– Muhammadu Sanusi II