Borno Women React to Emir Sanusi’s ‘One-Wife-for-the-Poor’ Proposal


There have been mixed reactions from women in Borno over move by the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, to ensure that poor men did not marry more than one wife.

The Emir hinted that he intended initiating a bill that would bar poor men from marrying more than one wife because some people who were financially handicapped married many wives and ended up not living up to their responsibilities of catering for their wives and children.

Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

According to Vanguard News, some women said they wholeheartedly supported the move, while others thought the idea was out of place.

A housewife, Mrs Maimuna Garba urged “all married northern women” to “stand behind the Emir on his polygamy stance”.

According to her;

“Whatever you say or refer to in the Holy Qur’an they (men) will not listen to you; they always choose what sweets them and abandon the concrete reality of it,”

Another housewife, Mrs Amina Ba’ana has this to say;

“What he is doing is ensuring that before you get multiple wives, you have to show you are capable of taking care of the wives and their off-springs in all aspects”

But a spinster, Miss Maryam Bala, had a contrary view. She said that Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) was once quoted as urging his people to “marry and have children so I can be proud of you”.

She was quoted as saying;

“The Emir might not be wrong but yet his statement is demoralizing for women who have yet to meet their future partners.

“There are many women than men in the world, who is going to marry them?”

Also speaking on the issue, Mr Muhamad Askira, a lecturer of Political Science at the Ramat Polytechnic, Maiduguri, said the “Almajiri system, as presently constituted, is an affront to our religion, culture and civilization”.

Mr Askira was quoted as saying;

“No community will prosper by condemning its future generations to begging and all sorts of societal indignities.

“If the Almajiri system was primarily conceived in humility and borne out of intellectual necessity, it has since ceased to be so.

“What is happening today is that most parents have abandoning their parental responsibilities by disposing their wards of to distant lands for economic reprieve.

“It is pure exploitation, bordering on sheer parental dereliction and irresponsibility

“I wonder how our consciences fare when we see promising young lads reduced to begging at every motor park, at every mosque entrance, at every filling station and at every public gathering.

“I wonder how we expect strangers and foreigners to respect us when the first experience they have of us in ‘our land’ is mostly that of swarm of beggars,”

A cleric, Malam Othman Ibn-Abdullahi, also have this to say;

“People have abused the values and teaching of our prophet S.A.W.

Marrying more than one wife is right but only if you can treat them equally and you have what it takes to do so,”

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