A Nigeria mass wedding on Thursday included over 1,000 couples, according to a Dec. 20 Associated Press report. The rising rate of divorce and children born out of wedlock, as well increasing poverty led to Islamic religious authorities’ decision to marry 1,111 couples at a mass wedding in Kano city.
Following a recent increase in scrutiny by the Hisbah Board, an entity with the authority for Shariah law, the region is doing everything it can to combat what it deems improper, indecent and a threat to society. Deputy Gov. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje spoke at the mass wedding ceremony, which took place at Kano city’s main mosque. “The high rate of divorce is a worrisome situation resulting in adultery, prostitution and the births of children out of wedlock, and has become dangerous to society.”
UK’s Daily Mail reports that officially, Sharia law was restored across the northern region of Nigeria’s Muslim population in 2001, but the Islamic legal code has been unequally applied. Several thousand people were recently arrested for prostitution and improper dressing, while a bulldozer destroyed alcohol at an event. The city itself has been the center of multiple terrorist attacks, which some deem linked to extremist Shariah law.
The Nigeria mass wedding cuts across many issues facing Kano residents. In addition to combating indecency, it addresses the lack of financial resources facing several men, who unable to afford wedding expenses such as customary dowries, resort to hiring prostitutes.
The grand event featured several previously divorced men and women. Deputy Gov. Ganduje is on an ongoing quest to battle rising divorce rates. “The high divorce rate in our state leads to rampant cases of births outside wedlock, with children being born and dumped which leads to appalling social decay.” He called for strict policies that would discourage divorce and harsher penalties for men who fail to pay alimony so that single mothers will be able to “provide a good upbringing for their children and make them good citizens.”