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“There is a need to peg the marriage age now” – Emir Sanusi makes a stand against underage marriage



Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II

Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II

Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II has called for the pegging of marriage age in Nigeria because of the problems such marriages create – especially for the women and the children.

The former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor made this known via his Instagram handle on Saturday. He said:

(Marriage of women below 18 years) – Women are suffering from reproductive health challenges (because) of such marriages. Time has come (for) the Muslim community (to) 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. According to me, the strategy no longer works as it has led to cases of divorce and other ugly situations.

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. 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 is 18 while that of Malaysia and Morocco is 19 and 17 respectively. Why don’t we (Nigeria) 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 gives birth to children and allows them to suffer. Most of these neglected children not only turn victims of social vices but also engage in terrorism.

This comes 2 days after the Katsina Emirate Council upheld the marriage of a 14-year-old girl to the Emir of Katsina, Abdulmumuni Usman, 64.

The girl was alleged to have been abducted and converted to Islam, before being married to the Emir.

Photo Credit: Instagram/@sanusilamidosanusi


  1. Jo

    October 15, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    He has finally said something albeit via his instagram page. However, we all know that the illiteracy rate is high in rural communities especially up north, how many can read talk less of know what instagram is. More has to be done to ensure that the men in the habit of kidnapping children of different faiths and locking them up in harems know it is illegal. Also speak to elders there so that the child’s right laws are enacted and implemented in northern states.

    • Ibi

      October 15, 2016 at 10:12 pm

      Dear Jo, you are very correct, that instagram is not the place for this. let his excellency do a very big reachout in campaign so as the people of Nigeria especially in the Northern part of Nigeria to understand why is evil to do this. But I really thank him for even to mentioned it. God bless him.

  2. Too little.

    October 15, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    It is NOT enough! Get Habiba Isa back from your colleague and neighbour/twin and daughter state emir and return her to her parents a d rightful home and life and ensure they are paid heavy compensation (no amount of compensation can ever be adequate; there are things all the money in the world simply just can never assuage neither erase nor restore). And have that emir sanctioned and have charges brought against him for his crimes. Let him have his day in court. Kidnapping, abduction, and rape., sex with minors are crimes and NO criminal is above the law, both human or divine.

    • LemmeRant

      October 16, 2016 at 7:48 am

      “from your colleague”


    • Deedee

      October 17, 2016 at 2:59 pm

      ???? from your colleague!!!

  3. Dr. N

    October 15, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    I hope they listen to him

  4. Mr. Egghead

    October 15, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    Via his Instagram! That’s like preaching to the choir. You think Sheik Abdulwhatever is on Instagram?

    If he wants to make a change, let him publicly send that message directly to other Emirs down to the District Heads. Northern Nigeria has a remarkably effective hierarchical system and the news will spread well. Let them show his displeasure and ensure that his subordinates get the message in unequivocal terms.

    All this wins him is a couple of Likes

    • The wicked must perish.

      October 16, 2016 at 4:17 pm

      Excerpt from interview with Habiba’s father:

      “”“I was in the palace on the day the Kaora Katsina on behalf of the Katsina Emirate Council asked my daughter whether she was forcefully converted to Islam, whether the emirate council or any other person forced her into the marriage and whether she was already menstruating at the time she met Lawal.

      “She answered yes to the questions. When they asked her to stand up and follow me, she refused saying she would not follow me. I believe that my daughter was charmed. The way I saw her that day was not the way my daughter was. She has never disobeyed me.

      “I was threatened and molested when I went to the palace on that day. I faced serious threat, they even wanted to beat and mob me, even though five people accompanied me there.”

      Asked if he wrote the emirate council to apologise for any embarrassment he might have caused it on the issue of his daughter, the father of eight said, “No. I was given a prepared form. I was only told to sign on it and with a threat that if I did not do so, they would kill me.

      “And by the way, my family did not receive any money, precisely N50,000, as the alleged bride price for her forceful marriage to Lawal.

      “It is a lie from the pit of hell,” the septuagenarian added.””

  5. Ladybird

    October 15, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    Marriage at 18??when preparations are probably made earlier??? How about letting girls choose for themselves who they want to marry and AT THE AGE THEY WANT TO marry? It feels gross and sickening to see extremely large age gaps between two couples..Your children are even older than your so called bride. ….then again speaking on the gram isn’t doing anything and won’t do anything.

  6. EC

    October 15, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    How many underage girls has he married. Why the need to marry small girls. This is shameless

  7. yemite

    October 15, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    Henhen. They have started again. Bella don finger their brain again, start screaming there.

  8. Marlvina

    October 15, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    Story, story, story!!!! Take steps in making the girl go back to her parents and let that hideous marriage be dissolved.

  9. Nellyv

    October 15, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    Like seriously….. So our former cbn governor cannot spell sustainance?? Ohhh my jingles!!! Cant believe he spelt sustenance. Ana emenu.
    However mr Emir, if u wana speak to ur dumb ass Muslim brothers, use the appropriate medium u know through which they can understand. U knw how foolish they can be

    • Thatgidigirl

      October 15, 2016 at 10:25 pm

      This is called “adomado body”. You have exposed your english incompetency while trying to embarrass someone else… is SUSTENANCE hun.

    • Hyeladzi

      October 15, 2016 at 10:35 pm

      Looollll…F9, Nellyv, F9 is your mark. His spelling of sustenance is correct. As for your re-mix, “sustainance” na only you waka come. Next time double-check, before you criticize!

    • Mimi

      October 15, 2016 at 10:48 pm

      You are the illiterate sir/madam. Sustenance is the correct spelling

    • anonymous

      October 16, 2016 at 4:15 pm

      Shut up u dumb ass, must u call him/her illiterate before u make ur correction huuuhhh

    • Shior

      October 15, 2016 at 10:51 pm

      Correcter must be thr worst

    • Iris

      October 16, 2016 at 12:59 am

      Shet. You gats face palm yasef.

    • Mz Socially Awkward....

      October 16, 2016 at 2:08 pm

      I don’t even know you but I’m very ashamed on your behalf right now. ?? There was absolutely no need for this epic disgrace ….

  10. Susu

    October 15, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    Iranu. Abasha. Oniyeye. Your day just break.
    Practice what you preach.

  11. Naijatalk

    October 15, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    Ah so he reads Bella Naija. Well done Bellanaija commenters; in fact all Nigerians who are “woke” on social media, keep up the good work. These leaders need to be shamed into standing for right. Baby steps.

    Meanwhile, ATOKSY babe, when are you coming to Nigeria again?

  12. Iris

    October 16, 2016 at 1:02 am

    I hope his target audience is on Instagram

  13. Kosi

    October 16, 2016 at 6:13 am

    There has to be grassroots push to implement this both by the Government and religious leaders. First of all, he should have categorically stated that the act of the emir in marrying a child is criminal. Secondly, the Nigerian laws should be implemented. Anyone married to a child should be jailed for rape. There is a need for political will to do that. Nigeria should take note from the Pakistani Government that finally passed the law on in honour killings.

    • Maxine

      October 16, 2016 at 12:46 pm

      Thank you @Kosi. What I expected was a categorical statement condemning the actions of his fellow Emir! And all he needed to do was to confirm that the freakin’ Emirate council in katsina did indeed uphold the farce that is called a ‘marriage’ between a child and a bloody paedophile! I just cant!!!

    • Mz Socially Awkward....

      October 16, 2016 at 2:52 pm

      For me, the very salient issue which he deliberately avoided was the claim of the girl’s abduction. A child was kidnapped and forced into a marriage, without her parent’s consent. By his own admission, there seems to be some place in Islamic tenets for parents to at least consent to this abhorration of letting old peverts rape little girls.

      It must be torture to be born female in rural parts of northern Nigeria.

      However, this particular girl’s parents don’t practice the religion so Sanusi should please shelve this BS “public statement” if he intends to ignore the other evils done here.

      This isn’t the first time a kidnapping & forced conversion is happening close to his backyard and once again, he doesn’t address it. I continue to find that there is no real separation between him and the less-enlightened people he rules.

  14. Greatness

    October 16, 2016 at 7:22 am

    Thank you for taking a stand. This message should be translated and channelled to the target audience. However, i do hope measures are in place to ensure the girl return to her family and loved ones, and given the necessary help she needs.

  15. hadiza

    October 16, 2016 at 8:05 am

    Look at this paedophilr. How many children have u married and made concubines?? You, who is educated and even became the CBN governor. U are a disgrace to this country and u should be killed. So, it’s now u realize that underage marriage harms girls abi?? foolish beast. Northern men and women are disgusting. I. can’t imagine how a seventy year old fool rapes a ten year old girl. Your religion is disgusting. Your foolish prophet also raped Aisha. Go to rural communities to preach n not on social media. Because most of the perpetrators of this disgusting act are not well enough to afford a phone or laptop or radio or TV. Disgusting northerners.

    • Gbogbo Bigz Girlz

      October 16, 2016 at 11:41 am

      Haba! How can you just call a religion practiced worldwide disgusting? A prophet foolish? Don’t you know pleasant Muslims? Later you’ll say Muslims are violent. Learn to deal with your life’s frustration and anger in other ways. Life is beautiful, sa ma para e lori oro Hausa ati Islam.

  16. Yummychickcummummy

    October 16, 2016 at 8:18 am

    Awareness on the rural streets n campaign on local stations will go a long way too. HRH…. This is so alarming….

  17. john

    October 16, 2016 at 8:20 am

    lol..the mysandrist hadiza is nahum on steroids

  18. Ceetoo

    October 16, 2016 at 9:34 am

    Please this little girl case can it not be reported to UNICEF , United Nations, ECOWAS. All female lawyers in the house can’t someone take this case probono. I am sure they are poor that is why this can even happen. Please let us not just talk let see how we can help… please I beg let see how to save this child. It is even worse she is not a Muslim.

  19. ty

    October 16, 2016 at 11:55 am

    i am totally disgusted by this case, most Nigerian men if given a chance will act like this, the difference with muslims is that their religion permits it. nigerian men need a total restructure of their brains which i think should start with upbringing. mothers pamper their boys too much, fathers tell them they are more entitled than their sisters. we need a revolution in this country. when your president thinks that a woman belongs in the kitchen and the bedroom,well what hope do we have…..i can go on and disgusted!!!

    • Intellij

      October 16, 2016 at 6:08 pm

      What do you mean by most Nigerian men will act like this. Do you know how many Nigerian men who detest these sort of thing and will do anything in their power to stop it. I am a man and very much detest this kind of thing.

  20. ty

    October 16, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    please can a good lawyer take up this case, gosh imagining myself as that little girl, an old ugly wrinkled man taking away my innocence at 14…ughhh..i wonder if everyone that actually looks like a human is actually a human being. these old men dont you have any shame,any pity, a defenseless girl, a young girl that knows nothing..please someone who can help, please help, what does she even have sef,no breast, no bumbum, so these old men, what are you going to be touching?. disgusted beyond words. Nigerians let us make noise about this till it reaches someone who can help. as for blogs, you guys should carry this story everyday until celebrities take it up. lawyers take it up, activists take it up. pls pls pls let us help this young girl, whose innocence has been taken away by an ugly old wrinkled pedophile.

    • John

      October 16, 2016 at 1:11 pm

      So what are you doing about personally, why dont you hire a good lawyer for her and her family.. why are looking for activist to fight your battle..please all you naija online and keyboard feminist should take a seat .. this is why I love white women, just a single white woman will sacrifice and take this case on her own…as for the emir, no matter what u say , people will attack you , so better just go and enjoy your family and life and stop trying to please anybody

    • ty

      October 16, 2016 at 1:31 pm

      did you just ask what im doing about it? i am talking about it and wont stop talking until it reaches the ears of someone who has the power to get the girl away from the old creep and back to her parents.

  21. john

    October 16, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    u still dont get it..if u like shout till the world ends ..nothing will happen…but as us said thus country needs a revolution. support nnamdi kanu and biafra…don sit on the sidelines and shout and blog

  22. John

    October 16, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Secondly, lumping and insulting all men ont help ur cause because at the end of the day , it is the men that will do the actuall rescuing

  23. yemite

    October 16, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    Lolz. Christian with much trouble. Must you use abusing words for Muslim and Islam.? Let reason together if some one in Islam call Jesus a devil, how will you react? All the money taking out from this great country was landed in U.S. Is it not a christian land? This are what I was telling my pastor last week and he told me any Christian that use hard word to Muslim is a devil.

  24. Proverbs31Woman

    October 17, 2016 at 12:49 am

    A great leader uses their platform to speak up for the marginalized,vulnerable and oppressed. This is encouraging.

  25. esteem

    October 17, 2016 at 6:56 am

    This man has spoken well and i think he should be commended. Using any medium to preach the gospel can spread across the entire country because he is a figure head, moreover he is trying to get VOX POPULI before embarking on huge campaign about under-age marriage. As for u forming over sabi trynna correct someone’s spellings, Nobody is perfect.

  26. Somtoo

    October 17, 2016 at 10:24 am

    I saw a girl of not more than 12 years old around cms, face painted with garish makeup and leading an alleged blind man begging for money, I was so angry. What was the point of painting her face with bright red lipstick and black eye pencil? To attract who exactly? To make men give her money or what?

    The government has to stop this madness. Blind people being led around by underage kids? For what purpose? This is common among igbo and hausa beggers. The blind igbo woman singing songs with a little child leading her around. This doesn’t make me want to give. It makes me angry that a child who is supposed to be sleeping at 5.30am is up begging for money.

    These hausa women that sit in a corner around lekki phase 1 and ask their little girls to go harass pedestrians for money is just disgraceful. You see them gisting amongst themselves or yapping on their phones while their kids are pounding the pavement and begging for money.

    What sort of madness is this? Laws should be passed to stop this. Any child seen engaging in this kind of madness should be taken into custody by social workers (That is if social workers exist here) If it doesnt exist then dear Government, its time to create a system that discourages child abuse!

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