EMIR of Kano, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido, has condemned child marriage describing the act as unhealthy and has called on relevant authorities to enforce laws on child marriage as a way to protect children in the society. The Emir categorically said he is against child marriage in the Muslim community even as he canvassed the creation of laws that would punish those who give birth and allowed their children to suffer. Sanusi stated this a few days after the Emir of Katsina, Abdulmumini Usman was accused of abducting and marrying a 14-year-old Christian girl, Habiba Isiyaku, although, he dismissed the allegation, saying the girl had indicated her interest in the marriage. But Lamido, in a statement at the weekend said: “Marriage of women below 18 years, women who are suffering from reproductive health challenges are products of such marriages. Time has come when the Muslim community should live by the reality of economic recession and consequences of early marriage. “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. “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. “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. “There is a need to peg the marriage age now because of the challenges early marriage is posing. The marriage age in Egypt at present was 18 while that of Malaysia and Morocco were 19 and 17 respectively. “Why not we here urgently call for pegging of marriage ages within Muslim Ummah in Nigeria? “Nigerian Muslims also practice the Malikiyas School of thought as these countries, we should follow suit and peg our own marriage ages for our own good. “I urge the relevant authorities to create a law that would punish anybody that gave birth to children and allowed them to suffer. “Most of those neglected children not only turned victims of social vices but also engage in terrorism,” the Emir added.
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