Borno women react to Sanusi’s proposal to regulate marrying more than one wife

Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido
Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido [Photo Credit: Channels TV]

Mixed reactions from women in Borno have trailed the move by the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, to ensure that men who cannot cater for their family do not marry more than one wife.

In an interview with News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Maiduguri, some women said they wholeheartedly supported the move, while others thought the idea was out of place.

It would be recalled that the Emir had at an occasion, lamented that some people who were financially handicapped, married many wives and ended up not living up to their responsibilities of catering for their wives and the children.

He had hinted that he intended initiating a bill that would regulate marrying more than one wife, outlaw forced marriage and domestic violence among others.

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

“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,” she said.

Aisha Ibrahim, another married woman alleged that most men would only listen to you when you advocate polygamy.

“Many of them engage in extra-marital affairs while abandoning their true wives at home.

“They should acquaint themselves with Qur’an , Hadith and Tafsir where every aspect of mankind, from Adam and Eve, to the last generation, have been clearly explained,” she said.

Amina Ba’ana, another housewife, questioned the reason for the ‘hullabaloo’ as the Emir was only being realistic.

“Sanusi has not said men must marry one wife or men should not marry more than a wife.

“What he is trying to do is to evoke the part of Islamic Law that said husbands must provide food, shelter and basic needs of their wives and kids after marriage.

“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,” she said.

But Maryam Bala, a spinster, said marriage would always be destined by God and not by human plans.

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”.

“The Emir might not be wrong but yet his statement is demoralising 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?” she queried.

Also speaking on the issue, 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”.

“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 abandoned 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,” said Mr. Askira.

Othman Ibn-Abdullahi, a cleric, explained that the Emir was right in his initiative and thinking.

“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,” he said.



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  • Adam Abbas

    So Mr Sanusi Lamido Sanusi wants to make a law to peg marriage to one man one wife if you are poor.
    Thats an interesting issue bearing in mind that he claims to be a Muslim. . Man to woman relationship is a natural phenomenum and not artificial. Biologically and anatomically the women have lower capacity for copulation based on averages and that is where polygamy comes in. The points to be discussed are to too much to be handled here but for sure china’s population control policy included removing religion from the country and implementing one child per family. That policy couldn’t cover all of china but covered a little over 70 % of china. In northwestern china 4 kids to a family or more exits as far as you can take care of them. So Sanusi only rich people like you should have many wives. Unfortunately biological aspect does not respect money. At the end of the day many women will not be married but will live the lives of mistresses with more bastards in the society. When that happens the negative effect is worst than what obtains now. After all who wants to be poor? What has been happening in Nigeria for the past 7 years and worse case scenario is what’s happening now. Absolute corruption in the society plus, greedy black hearted leadership at all levels is what brings about abject poverty. Address the poverty and corruption for starters and see how things will work.

  • Rommel

    Polygamy is at the root of all evil in the society,it is a practiced that is fuelled by inability to control ones sexual appetites,a quality belonging to lower animals s I can say that any man that marries more than one wife is not fit to be called a huamn being no matter the argument,we could all see that the problem between Ishmael and Isaac in the old testament was from this evil practice.

    • wode

      I think, you got it wrong. If you call men that legally marry more than one wives whatever name, what would you call many married men (with a single wife) and women who sleep around with their partners – girlfriends/woman-friend/concubines/sugar-mummies” engaging in extramarital relationships. Men, by nature, are largely polygamous and there is nothing anybody can do about that. This is an established facts! It’s just unfortunate that in the world today, extramarital relationship among the young and old has gone wild and nobody seems to see anything wrong with it. However, a legitimate (marriage) relationship between a man and more than one wives is being tagged as a taboo! No wonder there are so many “bastards” all around to the extend that no man can vividly say who his children are until DNA test is carried out.

      On the other way round, the right to marry more than one wives, as it’s allowed in Islam (maximum of 4), African cultures, etc should never be abused by the menfolk. The wives and the children thereof have their rights as the men have theirs. The wives and children have to be properly taken care of with justice among them ensured. So, there are conditions attached to marrying more than one wives. I think that is the position of the Emir, which for me it’s in order.

      • Rommel

        You have to have sharp reasoning to understand that the conditions that made polygamy necessary in the days of our ancestors are no longer there so polygamy is purely something that belongs to lower animals, as for sleeping around as you indicated,it is an adult choice as long as those individuals are not doing so against their will

        • wode

          All other things can change but nature, which is central to the subject matter, doesn’t change. And that explains it all. If sincerity still remains a virtue, it’s no-brainier that the so-called “adult choice” can only be found at the abyss of any moral value system.