Muhammadu Sanusi II, Emir of Kano, has said a law will soon be put in place in Kano State to outlaw forced marriages in the state. The Emir stated this on Sunday at the 50th anniversary of the demise of Isa Wali, a former Nigerian ambassador to Ghana.
He said the law would also recommend certain conditions to be met before a man can marry a second wife.
He went on to say that the economic consequence of men marrying more than one wife and giving birth to many children is evident in the north.
“It perhaps a tribute to Mallam Isa that today as I speak, in the palace in Kano, a sub-committee which I set up of scholars which has been working for one year is finalising sections of a family law we intend to introduce to Kano which would address some of the issues Mallam Isa was concerned about.
The law will set up what Islam says about the minimum age for marriage, it will outlaw forced marriages, it will make domestic violence illegal, it will put in the conditions that you must fulfill before you can marry a second wife, it will introduce protection for divorced women, it sets out the responsibilities of a father beyond producing the child and the role of the court in taking care of children.
It is a very big one because the law ranges from consent to marriage, to maintenance to divorce, to maintenance of children to inheritance.
We have all seen the economic consequence of men who are not capable of maintaining one wife marrying four, producing 20 children, not educating them, leaving them on the streets to end up as thugs and terrorists.”
Sanusi said the law addressed some of the concerns raised by Wali in his writings.
“He was very controversial in his writings for a conservative Northern Muslim society, he was the son of an Islamic scholar, the Wali who doubled as Waziri and wrote against the institution of the concubine, he wrote against polygamy, he wrote for the equality of men and women in Islam, he supported the education of women
Even if there was no consensus for some of his views, if you take the issue of concubine, the matter was not settled in theory but it has been settled in practise because nobody has concubines anymore.”