Kano — Saturday, April 27, 1,000 couples were set to take part in the Kano State sponsored mass wedding, which was the biggest so far. The event included divorcees, widows and spinsters.
The Commandant-General of the state's Hisbah Board, Sheikh Aminu Ibrahim Daurawa, said the wedding, earlier slated for April 7, was suspended because the state governor was preparing to travel abroad and didn't want to miss the historic event.
Daurawa said after the wedding Fatiha, which will take place at the Emir of Kano's palace and the palaces of the district heads of the 44 local government areas in the state, there will be Walima at the state's government house for the bride grooms, while their brides will attend theirs at the Hisbah Board premises.
In a past interview, Daurawa explained that the mass wedding was introduced by the government to reduce marital problems in the society. "Alhamdulillah, we have succeeded in marrying off about 350 women in two batches," he said.
This mass wedding is the third after a successful first and second mass weddings adopted by the Kano State Government. During the first batch, 250 couples were involved, while the second batch had 100 couples, who were married off in grand styles on July 2012.
Commenting on the success of such marriages, Assistant Commandant-General of the women's wing of Kano State Hisbah Board, Malama Zahara'u Muhammad Umar, said they are faring very well. She said after such weddings, the board monitors the couples and has waded into problems as well as solved issues amicably for them.
"The major problem we encountered is that of sexual compatibility and in a situation where a party's sexual urge is higher than that of the other we always try to step into the matter with professional advice. In some instances, we will get the issue resolved and in others we have no option but to allow them decide on what they feel is the best solution. So far only 10 marriages out of the 350 so far conducted failed to work," Malama Zahara'u said.
She also revealed that out of the 350 wedded in the second batch, one of the wedded HIV positive couples are expecting a child.
Similarly, out of the other batch's 100 couples who were wedded, one delivered a baby boy, who was named after Governor Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso.
The board discovered during this year's 1,000 mass wedding preparations that about eight persons among them tested positive to HIV, while some women who came to seek spouses were found to be pregnant.
When asked why they applied for the marriage despite their conditions, a woman who was found to be pregnant and gave her name as Umma, said she was not aware that she was still pregnant because she had earlier gone for abortion.
"I was shocked when I tested positive because I thought I had aborted the pregnancy. It is an act of God," she said.
Assistant Commandant-General Zahra'u Muhammd told Weekly Trust that anyone who is found to be HIV positive or pregnant cannot be a beneficiary of this year's mass wedding programme.
"What we normally do in this case is to advise the woman or the man to wait patiently until we get partners for them who are HIV carriers too. During the second batch of the mass wedding, we married off a man and woman who were HIV carriers and they are now blessed with a child," she added.
She said the board will replace the HIV carriers and pregnant women with standby applicants.
"You know we have more than 1,000 women who applied for the marriage, so we will replace those HIV carriers and pregnant women with those stand by women who are ready to get married at anytime. We will marry off 1000 women on Sunday Insha Allah," she said.
One of last year's mass wedding beneficiaries, Malam Sa'adu Adamu Dorayi, told our reporter that his marriage is working perfectly well. "Although I had another wife when I married my second wife, both wives are living in harmony with each other. I can say I am lucky to have been a beneficiary and thank God for that," he said.
His wife Malama Hafsa expressed joy at being married again. She commended the Kano State government and Hisbah Board for initiating and sponsoring such purposeful gesture.
At the past wedding ceremony, the Hisbah Board gave N10, 000 to the grooms to pay for their dowries and provided the brides with furniture and kitchen wares as well as N15,000 to enable them start small scale businesses in tailoring or catering.
The brides were represented by the Emir of Kano Ado Bayero while the grooms had a senior government official, who represented state Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso as their sponsor.
Some organizations and wealthy individuals in the state have been offering contributions to the Hisbah Board for the event's success. Dangote Group of Companies donated bed sheets for the 1000 brides, while Yahuza Suya Spot promised to provide sufficient roasted chicken during the Walima (marriage) bouquet.