Government sponsored spouse swapping event

Ever wondered the best place in Nigeria to get married with little to no financial cost to you? Look no further. There must be something behind Kano mass wedding that no else knows, so beneficial the state government keep pouring money into it.

The Royal Highness of Kano the other day gave impressive lecture on how the best to stabilise Nigeria economy given dwindling oil revenue. Emir Sanusi had lots of good advice including this paragraph:

“…I do hope that people will remember that ultimately, when you are part of an administration and do not speak when you should, then you have forever forfeited the right to speak. Loyalty is about telling your boss the truth.” Emir Sanusi.

Since we are all about telling the truth. It would be great if this message is repeated to the governor of Kano who is planning another 2000 mass wedding before the year ends, for the state’s divorced and widows.

How on earth is government sponsored mass wedding any beneficial to a state where significant number of folks live from hand to mouth? Why can’t adults get together on their own?

Since 2012 Kano has married about 5000 couples and gearing up for another 2000. I wonder how many couples have deliberately separated so as to get on the government sponsored wedding.

According to Dr Abba Sufi, Director-General of the Board:

The aim of the programme is to check prostitution and other vices in the society, hence the decision of government to sustain it’’

Interesting point, wonder is the country Nigeria.

If prostitution is such an abomination in Kano, wouldn’t it be better to address the root cause of this? Many of those in prostitution blamed it on lack of parental support, poverty etc. Maybe what Kano needs here is to make it a law that parents must provide child support for all their children and continuing to do so before ever granting a divorce. There is a reason Kano has the highest rate of divorce in the country in the first place.

And of course if a teenager is forced to marry before she could think of earning for own upkeep then later chased out with two children at the age of 20, what happens to the children if she has to join mass wedding? Children likely to join Almajiri?

What happens to prostitutes in other parts of the country? The Obalende Venture, Edo joints? Maybe their governor to mass wed them as well?

Sometimes it is hard to understand what goes on in the mind of some lawmakers, if the government is so concerned about the welfare of the citizens in this case family unit, why is the same government not interested in making sure every parents are responsible for their children. If one is very poor which is not uncommon, then government educate and contribute towards family planning – that will be better for us all in the end, less recruits for Boko Haram.

I’m sure they’ll go ahead with this plan and then later tell the world how northern Nigeria remains the most marginalised.

Good luck to the prospective couples, I pray they get approval for Mecca pilgrimage next year too.

Categories: Family, Nigeria, Women

Tags: ,

14 replies

  1. Seems to me this is a clumsy effort by the authorities to use one mechanism ie marriage to solve a variety of problems.
    Marriage can only be part of the solution. You mentioned support for the wives when they get married by her parents. The idea when you’re married is to become independent of your parents, but as you have pointed out we are talking about teenagers and some even younger getting married. This triggers the question why are children being turfed out of the home at the first available opportunity? If the girl is married off early she leaves the parental home as one individual, as you pointed out if the marriage doesn’t go well (which is not unusual) she may return with a couple of kids in tow, thus more mouths to feed for her parents ie compounding the problem.

    Like you said education, improved job prospects and family planning would be better served with more resources and time. The marriage part is the least beneficial component that requires no intervention.

    Another part that I’m sure will make the strongly patriarchal authorities there feel uncomfortable, even if everyone was married prostitutes still exist in response to a demand. The heart of the matter is what makes a happy home? What expectations do both parties have of the marriage? Men will have to work at how to keep the marriage interesting and one in which the wife will want to ‘stick around’. Women will have to work at keeping their husband’s affections, when the home is secure, the demand for prostitutes will reduce.

    Provision must be made for single parent households rather than the overused and inappropriate action of stigmatisation.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Happy home? Well clearly this isn’t about happy home. It is about pairing people together at all cost today thinking that is the only way to solve the fundamental problem.

      Haha, jco so ‘Women will have to work at keeping their husband’s affections’, what will be the job of the man? This is why I think government is getting out of their way to create needless chaos, you know here many men are polygamous, already men had it ‘good’ and those who have one wife are lucky to have customary courts that grant divorce at a snap of fingers without any child support imposed on them. I think this is why you have women who happily toss their kids on the streets and remarry with little guilt.

      Kano alone a few years ago recorded 1.2 Million Alijamiris (street beggars). Last government invested heavily specifically for this group with decent facilities, how effective has this program getting folks off the street? I’m sure state government is waiting on Fed. govt to keep pouring money on Alijamiri so citizens can keep having more children. I don’t get the rationale.

      You are right, incentive for single parent households to look after their offsprings is a better alternative here, if nothing this will mean less beggars on our streets.


      • Using marriage alone to solve a variety of social ills, is doomed to fail. The existence of prostitution goes beyond people being unmarried. It is not unknown for married men to have prostitutes, hence my comment above about building a happy home. If the”powers that be” in Kano, ignore that, they really are on a ‘hiding to nothing’.

        Ultimately all parties involved with the marriage should be made to understand, that there is a concept of mutuality when it comes to responsibilities and duties. The man has a duty to maintain the interest of the wife, you can say it is his moral duty – if that can only be understood coming from the mouth of an Imam, then so be it. If the husband is a hypocrite, then the marriage is doomed from the start.

        Nigerian authorities have a long track record of throwing money at a problem without ever having fully understood the problem or recording accurately the results of such a program. This effort to tackle the almajiri menace, should really be born by the state government. The federal government, didn’t create the problem in the first instance. People can argue that federal government should play a role, then if that is the case, tight monitoring and strings should be imposed and cutting of funding should be put in place, if the desired results are not being recorded transparently.

        If Iran (a Muslim country) can curb its population growth, why can’t Kano state? This is something that the rest of the world (except Africa) have long recognised.

        Dealing with the almajiri problem should not simply involve:
        1) Shelter and nutritional provision.
        2) A chance to learn a trade.
        BUT ALSO
        3) Teaching them that the current system of throwing kids out of the home prematurely is not right. That a better way exists such as education and providing for one’s family. Children and people in general should be valued.
        4) Use of family planning.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks jco. Totally agree that Almajiri is a problem that should have spearheaded at the state level but as you are aware this was done to gain votes but nonetheless a neat ‘bribe’ only that that it was ill intentioned.

          I bet Kano has enough people to tell this simple truths, after all polio case was like this a decade ago until unicef and other agents started open discussions about it, we are reportedly free of polio today but it was only achieved when they started honest discussion.

          In Kaduna El rufai said he was going to arrest street beggars, this to make parents more accountable, beggars association kicked in the air, I’m sure we’ll hear more in due cause if that was successful.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Open and frank discussion is not something that comes to mind when I think of the Sharia states. The posts you have had of northern women speaking about their problems(TED talks ie Fatima Muhammad) are so timid, it merely serves to raise their public profile and little else. This article you published to my mind was 100 times more outspoken than what they collectively have said. I wasn’t surprised at your bluntness, it was welcome.

            As for the polio situation, my opinion on that is that the jury is out.

            El Rufai’s approach is not feasible, he would have to build so many prisons to contain the ever growing number. Additionally, if the parents don’t care if the child begs, why should they care if their kids are thrown in prison?

            Liked by 1 person

            • Agreed. We will soon come to time when we will stop lumping everyone together for strategic purposes. For example giving specifics of areas where child bride is prevalent and the results instead of say Nigeria has x percentage of child bride. Here honest census will do us great.

              You are right, if one can toss children on the road, so as to free up time to get the 4th nuptial arrangement with a ‘new’ spouse then prison will serve no purpose.

              Actually Kano is used to throw their youths into prison due to drug abuse – isn’t this enough to learn that Almajiri are very vulnerable? Nah, human breeding seems to be Epa Ijebu (cure for all).


          • beggar’s association? oh my eyes have read wonders indeed. Fola some of these your posts are so interesting to put it mildly 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  2. I hear some things and my mind just shuts down. 13bn stolen. Mass marriage. I have learned to pick my battles when discussing Nigeria but this idea is so profoundly silly it’s hard to know where to start.
    And apart from economic concerns, what of domestic violence, what of children already born and the children yet to be taken care of?
    Good article Ms. Fola, I hope the people in charge of this get to see this.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi Fola, perhaps they are thinking that if people are off safely married they will be involved with family life and, as you suggested, won’t be off joining the radicals. They seem to fail to realize that without a sound economy and employment there will still be problems. Desparation drives people to do desperate things.

    Liked by 2 people


  1. Women and family size – Folakemi

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