The Kano state government’s initiative to embark on mass marriage is commendable and worthy of emulation, especially by other northern states of the federation. A great number of people are unable to get married due to financial reasons, especially with the rich cultural practices enforced in the process of getting married such as huge amounts for dowry, heavyweight and expensive betrothal gifts, and wedding events, among other things, that need to be put in place as prescribed by religion and culture for marriages to take place.
Also, the Hisbah Kano branch under the leadership of Sheikh Aminu Ibrahim Daurawa has organised the programme of mass wedding titled ”Auren Gata” in such a way that would be more transparent and accommodating for all and sundry. As reported, parts of the procedure to be followed for all intended couples are thorough medical checkups, and presentation of referees from the side of the bride and that of the bridegroom to make sure that there is mutual agreement and understanding between the couples.
The difficulty in getting married was among the salient issues in society that many people overlooked, especially for young people who are up to age and cannot afford marriages. Gone are the days when families and close associates took full responsibility by giving out massive financial support for marriages to take place.
The Kano state government was reported to have also, provided the newly weeded couples with food items, furniture, and some undisclosed amount of money for the family upkeep. As densely populated as Kano is, this programme will undoubtedly contribute immensely to reducing the great number of people aiming to get married but cannot afford it. It will also help to reduce the cases of sexual harassment, and other gender-related vices.
Wholeheartedly, the beneficiaries of these programmes should take full responsibility for taking care of their newly wedded partners taking into account the huge effort, and sacrifices made by the Kano state government in making this a reality.
More often than not, Islamic clerics have been calling on people to consider only the major prerequisites of marriage such as dowry as prescribed by Islam, and shy away from other rich cultural practices that make marriages expensive and unaffordable by many underprivileged individuals.
The government, and wealthy individuals, on the other hand, should learn to invest in programmes that have direct impact on people making life easier, especially in this challenging time of untold economic hardship.
Mubarak Shuaybu Shelleng,
Maiduguri, Borno state.