Emir Sanusi wants Nigeria to ban child brides, Under-18 marriage

Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II
Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II

The Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi, has advocated a ban on marriage of women below 18 years, saying most of the women suffering from reproductive health challenges were products of such marriages.

The emir, who spoke at a workshop organised by the Northern Islamic Forum in Kano on Tuesday, said time had come when the Muslim community should live by the reality of economic recession and consequences of early marriage.

He said 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 Mr. Sanusi, that strategy no longer worked as it had led to cases of divorce and other ugly situations.

The emir recounted that in the past the rich and the poor married four wives and bore between 30 and 40 children because the economy was not only buoyant but also because people were not relying on government for sustenance.

He said 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 20 or 30 children and this must stop”.

Mr. Sanusi said there was a need to peg the marriage age now because of the challenges early marriage was posing.

According to him, 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 Umma in Nigeria?”

He argued that since Nigeria Muslims also practice the Malikiys School of thought as these countries, “we should follow suit and peg our own marriage ages for our own good”.

Mr. Sanusi called on the relevant authorities to create a law that would punish anybody that gave birth to children and allowed them to suffer.

According to him, most of those neglected children not only turned victims of social vices but also engage in terrorism.


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  • Watch man

    It is really amazing to read this coming from Sanusi. What he said made a lot of sense. But would the authorities listen?

    • okpada

      He is part of the Islamic authority in Nigeria.

  • evidence

    Pedophile enabler, you are yet to explain your ignoble role in the abduction and rape of Ese Oruru.
    All of you Emirs and Sultans in the pedophile core north should release all the minors that are being held captive in your palaces and raped daily.
    Save your sanctimonious pontification; were not impressed.‎

    • gohen

      The emir must be patient, all his daughters must finish marrying at 14 years before we can talk about this

  • Guest

    Oh, Lord of the heavens and the earth, I thank you! You can indeed use anyone for your purposes.
    Use Emir Sanusi to set his people free from bondage.

    • emmanuel

      I suspect Sanusi is trying to scam some western nations of funds voted for early child marriage advocacy campaign. We know his 2014 case of chid marriage. He has just conned you naive Nigerians and some Oyibo.
      His speech did not touch his own skin

  • Hassan Lawal

    Thank you sir,as usual very blunt and realistic!

    • Umolu

      What is realistic about this ?Here is a man like Buhari, who got married to kids at unbelievable ages.The title of this message should have been ‘It’s time to peg the marriage age in Northern Nigeria to. . .’.Mr Sanusi can’t speak for the whole Nigeria.,only for his people.

      • Deen Tee

        Kindly read very well before making comments. The news explained that ===> According to him, 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 Umma in Nigeria?”<=== Where in the news did the Emir talk about Nigeria as a whole? Do "Muslim Umma in Nigeria" now represent South East or South South?

  • Dazmillion

    Since I was born this is the first time a Nigerian Muslim leader has said something logical that will enhance Islam positively in Nigeria. I hope his PA will not latter retract the statement and claim the Emir was quoted out of context by PT when pressure starts coming from Yerima and other pedophiles like him.

    • emmanuel

      Sanusi married Lamido of Adamawa’s 17years old daughter last year and he said his critics should go to hell. You foolani islamist are just cheap!
      He said it to tickle the emotions of Nigerians who hardly know this country.

  • Gary

    It is already the law in Nigeria and was passed in 2003. It is illegal to marry a girl under 18 but the law is widely ignored certain parts of the country.

  • Otile

    Imam Buhari and Mullah Lamido Sanusi are not living in the same world with us. What ails them does not ail the rest of us. While Nigerians are suffering economic strangulation and lack these 2 top Mohammedans are more concerned with teenage matrimony and preservation of good clitoris. A lot of people do not know that Imam Buhari earmarked huge amount of money for the commission he set to look into the preservation of clitoris.

    • dele

      Bro . what u saying ur just going off point. When did they marry under age?

    • Senda Ogen

      You are sick. Hatred has made you blind to reason. He just advocated against child marriage and all you can do is insult him? What is wrong with you?

      • emmanuel

        Sanusi is a devil, because he married a 17 years old Girl last year!

        • deansmat

          Sanusi is evil because is one of those men that sent clueles dump GEJ back to creek where he belong..Sanusi had spoken against one of the evil in our society.tell your people to speak openly against the bombing of the oil facilities by the criminal call themself millitants

          • emmanuel

            Talk against Avengers? We are praying for them to succeed, like you used Boko Haram and Sanusi to send out GEJ like you just said.
            Nigeria belong to us all, but we have higher stake because of the means of sustenance, so it is time to negotiate that.
            Go ask Shell, Chevron and ENI-AGIP what the impact is like already.

  • marc umeh

    Wow . Thank you Emir. Sometimes the idea is not to please but say the truth the way you see it —- to save the nigerian child.

  • Dr.Dan

    When a leader is enlightened the difference is always clear.

    • emmanuel

      Sanusi enlighthen? You these foolanis people sef, una head nor correct at all. Nor be Sanusi marry 17 year sold Girl last year? Maga!

  • U. K. Charles

    Mr. Emir, your Muslim brothers should be aware of this information, specifically Because it’s only in Islam that child bride is prevalent, which started with its founder, Mohammed, and his child bride, Aisha of 9 years. Christians don’t practice child bride.

  • emmanuel

    This man married a 17 years old Girl recently. who do these foolanis think they are?
    He stole so much in CBN, yet he says said people were corrupt. If you see a typical liar in Nigeria, a foolani man is one of them.

    • Sikky Ashafa

      Yet GEJ allows him to go scot free after stealing so much as you claim then GEJ must indeed be incompetent to have allowed that….smh

  • FANTASTICALLY Corrupt Media

    Is this not the same Sanusi Lamido Sanusir (Emir of Kano) that was spending tax payers’ money to hire private jets and sleep with staff of Central Bank at exotic hotels in Lagos?

    Come on Premium Times, come on! When did this immoral man become a beacon of rectitude? Why can’t Nigeria just get it right and remove sentiments? Sanusi despite being an Emir has shown that he is not matured enough to speak on moral matters. This is the same man who was fingered in the abduction of Ese Oruru – a teenage girl kidnapped, raped and impregnated and who spent some time at the Emir of Kano’s palace. And the same child, was in captivity 8 months after her parents lodged a complaint formerly with at Sanusi’s palace. Is Premium Times not aware of this fact? Or is this willful mumudity?

    At Room 23 in Radisson Blu hotel, Sanusi enjoyed himself with a staff of CBN while still in office and even some romantic text messages were “intercepted” by Premium Times and published at the time. But once Sanusi started attacking president Jonathan, all his sins were forgiven and forgotten. Rotten journalism. Isn’t it?

    • Defender

      Why do u GEJ people always derail? We are talking of under age marriage….You are complaining about 2 consenting adults having an affair. Nawah fo u o..

  • Cleartruth

    Good morning to you sanusi. You are just waking up. .. when mama peace was saying it, you people condemned him.

  • Fuzio

    Now he is backing the law after he has had his fill of young virgins. The only people standing in the way of this law are your fellow Northerners. They are the ones you need to persuade.

    • CovertNigerian

      So you were in the room with him while he was with young virgins? Has he married anyone younger than 18? Has he married off any of his daughters at an age under 18? Have any of his sons married anyone under 18? Which of his verifiable actions support your decision to criticize him of speaking the truth?

      Your opinion, rumours and assumptions are not fact. So if you choose to respond, do so with FACTS and not innuendo.

      • Fuzio

        He is married to one of them. The daughter of the former governor of Adamawa. Do your research bro.

        • CovertNigerian

          “She was 17 when the marriage was consummated”

          On the contrary, the girl was reported to be 18 at the time of the marriage. So I’m not sure where you got 17 from and how they could have consummated the marriage before they were married. Granted, there are conflicting reports about her age but I believe his statement that she was 18.
          [Do I think he should be marrying 18 year old girls? No! But that’s not the point of this conversation.]

          “…and recently he was embroiled in a scandal while he was trying to facilitate another underage marriage.”

          If you are referring to the girl from Bayelsa, the best information available to me is that even in that case he, as a responsible Nigerian citizen, reported the situation to the police and they failed to do their work – a fact the police acknowledged, if I remember correctly. How that amounts to facilitating an underage marriage a feat I wish you can explain to me.

          • Fuzio

            You are deferring to them too much. What other defense do you expect them to put up especially given the fact that we don’t have an effective birth registry in this country. If they can lie about their official age, then turning 17 years to 18 years is obviously a cake work.?

          • CovertNigerian

            In other words your supposed fact that she was 17 is an assumption based on rumours you read? Because as you’ve pointed out there are no public records we can turn to for evidence of her actual age.
            I accept the Emir’s statement because till this moment I have not seen any convincing evidence that moves me to doubt his integrity.

          • Fuzio

            That is your own conclusion which can not be inferred from my submission. Continue to traffic in pseudo logic. You gave the emir benefit of the doubt that you refused to extend to me. Google the matter and you will find more than enough proof that the man is a pedophile. Bye

          • CovertNigerian

            “You gave the emir benefit of the doubt that you refused to extend to me. “

            1. I don’t know you. The emir on the other hand is a public figure with a reputation that I am familiar with, so why wouldn’t I be more willing to think more of what he says?

            2. Where in the world is second hand information given more credence than first hand information? The emir, who is in the middle of these events has spoken. Clearly, unlike me you do not believe him as is your right but, given that I trust him and can confidently assume that you’ve not been to his palace, why would I take your word over his?

            3. A Google search will yield no new information. I am very well informed on what the media has reported and my opinion will not be changed by re-reading information I am already familiar with.

            I am not a blind supporter, just trying to be objective. The second I see proof or something better than innuendo I’ll be open to it. If that is pseudo-logic then I’ll stick with it.

  • blueeyedkitten

    Lets peg it to 16/17(both male and female). why is 18 sacrosanct? if a boy and a girl are both ripe to have sex, i dont see any reason why both of them shouldnt be married off if the means is there. MY OPINION.

    • CovertNigerian

      The point is not just whether they are “ripe to have sex”, whatever that means but whether they are mature enough for a complex and committed relationship. 18 may not be the right number but it’s probably nothing to do with the reason you’ve suggested.

      • blueeyedkitten

        even the so called “mature enough for a complex and committed relationship” type of couples, soon find out they arent compatible… thus the high rate of divorce in the society nowadays. this issue is not black and white at all. my mum got married at 15, and she had me at 16. today, their love( with my dad) is ever strong. even in the United States, the country we love to always model our society after, have some states where the age of consent in marriage is as low as 12.
        by the way, wayne rooney met his wife when both were 14 year olds.

        • CovertNigerian

          Which US state has 12 as age of consent? I doubt this very much.

          I don’t think anyone doubts that it is possible to find a long lasting relationship at a very young age. However, that is typically the exception and not the norm. Chances that we are more mature and ready for a serious relationship improve as we age but by no means guarantees it as you’ve rightly pointed out. The Wayne Rooney example isn’t special – lots of couples meet at that age or even younger but that doesn’t mean that they were together from that age onward or that they were ready at that age for a lifelong commitment.