Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi is not giving up on his desire to bring contemporary reforms within the Muslim communities, especially the Kano emirate.
Speaking on Sunday in Abuja, at the 50th anniversary of the death of Ambassador Isa Wali, Nigeria’s former High Commissioner to Ghana, Sanusi revealed that he was working on a bill that would bar Muslim men from taking four wives if they cannot adequately cater for them.
The Sunday event was put together by Isa Wali Empowerment Initiative, IWEI, at Shehu Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja. Wali died in 1967 while still on active service in Ghana.
“Those of us in the North have all seen the economic consequences of men who are not capable of maintaining one wife, marrying four. They end up producing 20 children, not educating them, leaving them on the streets, and they end up as thugs and terrorists.
“It is perhaps a tribute to Mallam Isa that today, as I speak, in the palace in Kano a sub-committee of scholars, which I set up and has been working for about a year, is finalising the final sections of a family law we intend to introduce in Kano which will address some of the issues that Mallam Isa was concerned about,” Sanusi said.
He added, “The law will address what Islam says on marriage, it will outlaw forced marriages, it will make domestic violence illegal, it will put in conditions that you need to fulfil before you can marry a second wife, it will spell out the responsibilities of a father beyond producing a child.
“It is a big law which covers a whole range of issues from consent to marriage, to maintenance to divorce, to maintenance of children and inheritance. It will be the first time in northern Nigeria that a Muslim law on personal status will be codified.”
While noting that Wali was one of the earliest northerners to push for gender equality, Sanusi, who also retired as governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said he was hopeful that the Kano state government would enact the law as a way to immortalise the late Ambassador who, in his life time, was also a celebrated Muslim scholar.
Sanusi, it would be recalled, only recently called for prioritization of girl-child education, noting that Muslim communities in the country should consider allocating appropriate space and resources within mosque complexes for formal teaching and learning.
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