The former Central Bank Governor and the current Emir of Kano has recently condemned child marriage which is actually prevalent in his Muslim North. He also talked about factors that he thinks are contributing to the advancement of Boko Haram.
The Emir of Kano Sanusi II said that forceful marriage of young girls as
well as the exposure of youths to social media and the internet is to a large extent responsible for the increased rate of youths joining the insurgency group, Boko Haram. The Emir said this while delivering his lecture at the 10th Annual Ramadan Lecture organized by Voice of Nigeria (VON), NTA and FRCN in Kaduna on July 4.
I commend and support the Emir for making this very important observation but I must add that even leaving out the fact of Boko Haram, forced marriage itself is a huge disregard and abuse of human rights. It is actually sad that in Nigeria, the Senate wants to legalize marriage of underage girls. This of course is due to the fact that the Senate has a Northern majority, a place where child marriage is very common.
His exact words were:
“Are we still living in the era which father can force their daughters into marriage without their permission? Yes we are. Early marriage, yes we are in Nigeria. And it is hurting and destroying our society. We are the ones to address these social issues because they are problems. And you know from taking her out of school and forcing her into marriage without education result to having a child from her who does not have a mother that can give the child proper training.
That is a child that gets on drugs, Indian hemp or joins Boko Haram. All these things are connected. We have to face these challenges. Information technology and emergence of internet and social media, today youth go on the computer and they learn Islam from Facebook and twitter.
They learn Islam from videos, they watch on Facebook and after 14 to 15 hours watching new things, they need to become jihadists. They get up and go to Iraq or Syria or somewhere and join the group. And there are no controls.
Right inside your house, your son can be sitting upstairs in the bedroom getting indoctrinated into becoming an extremist without your knowledge. We need to watch what our children watch. And we need to talk to them. If we do not give them the correct Islamic education, they will find the wrong education on the internet”