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Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Kano State Government Conducts Mass Wedding For 2000 Widows And Divorcees

The government of Kano state, Nigeria, is forcing 2000 women (all divorcees or widows) into marriages in a bid "to check prostitution and other vices in the society." This program, which has seen over 5000 couples forced into marriage in state organized mass weddings, began in 2012. It is overseen by the Kano State Hisbah Board.
According to Wikipaedia,
"Hisbah is the divinely sanctioned duty of the ruler (government) to intervene and coercively command right and forbid wrong in order to keep everything in order according to sharia, the laws of Allah."
Kano state, like most of the states in northern Nigeria, is under sharia law. Hisbah, an islamic doctrine meaning 'accountability', has therefore given the state government the authority to marry off all the widows and divorcees in their domain regardless of what these women want.
The women of northern Nigeria are at a particular disadvantage. They get little, if any, education and are usually married off as early as 8, and in some cases, soon after birth (although the child will remain with her parents until "she is of age," usually before she is 10). The men who marry them are old enough to be their fathers and in many cases, their grandfathers. They are usually pregnant before long, and many of them become victims of vesicovaginal fistula, VVF, a chronic debilitating and stigmatizing condition which is often difficult to treat, and are usually divorced by their husbands who of course go on to marry another child. The lucky ones are those whose very old husbands die. But their own problems begin here. With children to cater for, and no jobs, because they hardly got any education, they either abandon those children to their fate, become mendicants, or go into prostitution. A former governor of Zamfara state, Ahmad Sani Yerima, who is now a senator, married a 13-year-old Egyptian girl in 2010 whose parents he allegedly paid $100000. He was the first governor to implement sharia law and other northern Nigerian state governors soon followed.
The government of Kano state has decided to sustain this appalling act, which is just another way to steal public funds, all in the name of religion. These women take up prostitution mainly because there are no opportunities for them. The government that is marrying them off has refused to invest in education but readily sponsors pilgrims to Mecca. It is no wonder Boko Haram thrives here, and has an endless recruitment pool of uneducated boys and girls, many of whom are coerced into joining, or just simply kidnapped and enslaved. And forced to become suicide bombers. This is the legacy of islam in Nigeria.

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