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Nigerian Muslim Leader Proposes Polygamy Ban For Poor Men

Nigeria’s influential Muslim leader – the Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi – is planning to introduce a law which would stop men from taking more than one wife if they did not have the means to support them. 

In a speech on Sunday Mr Sanusi said that a connection had been established between polygamy, poverty and terrorism, Nigeria’s widely read Punch newspaper reports

Local media quotes the powerful religious leader and former governor of the central bank saying: 

Those of us in the [mainly Muslim] 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.”

The emir discussed different areas to be covered by the wide-ranging family law, which he said would be passed by the Kano state government:

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.”

He added: 

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.”

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