The Emir of Kano, Mallam Muhammad Sanusi II, threw a challenge to wealthy individuals in the northern region to use their wealth to help train the girl child to discourage early marriage rather than building mosques all over the place
The Emir, who made this call in his keynote address at the 3rd international conference on Islamic Banking and Finance, organised by the International Institute of Islamic Banking and Finance, Bayero University, Kano, said, the Northern girl child needs education more than places of worship.
He said, “I’m just tired of people coming to me to say I want to build a new mosque. You know, we keep building mosques and our daughters are illiterates.
“So, my appeal is that if you really want to help Kano, don’t come to me with a request to build a N300m mosque because I have enough mosques everywhere. And if I don’t have a mosque, I’ll build it myself. If you really want to help, go and educate a girl child in the village.”
According to him, over 50 per cent of girls between the age bracket of 18 and 20 were given out in marriage in the northern part of the country, cannot read or write.
He called for review of laws to prevent early marriage and encourage girl-child education
He said, “It is not a mere coincidence that this is where you have the highest levels of illiteracy, early marriage, divorce and the highest levels of domestic violence.
“People need to understand that the law has to change. If you look at the medical data on maternal health, girls who get pregnant below the age of 15 are five times as likely to die as girls who get pregnant at the age of 20. Those who get pregnant under 18 are twice as likely to die as those who get pregnant at the age of 20. So, it is important that we look at this issue of early marriage.”