We must peg marriage age now — Emir Sanusi Lamido

His Royal Highness, Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II has called on Muslim leadership to decide an appropriate age for marriage.

Sanusi’s latest call comes on the heels of Emir of Katsina’s marrying off an under-aged Christian to a Muslim man.

According to Sanusi, “Women who are suffering from reproductive health challenges were products of such marriages.

“Time had come when the Muslim community should live by the reality of economic recession and consequences of early marriage.

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“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.

“In the past the rich and the poor married four wives and bore between 30 and 40 children.

“This was because the economy was buoyant and people were not relying on government for sustenance.

“Though 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.

“This nonsense must stop.

“There was a need to peg the marriage age now because of the challenges early marriage was posing.

“The marriage age in Egypt at present is 18 while that of Malaysia and Morocco were 19 and 17 respectively

“Why not we here urgently call for pegging of marriage ages within Muslim Ummah in Nigeria?

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“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 gave birth to children and allowed them to suffer.

“Most of those neglected children not only turned victims of social vices but also engage in terrorism,” Sanusi said.