Muhammad Sanusi II, emir of Kano, says the predominant culture of marrying more than one wife by Nigerians in the north is a major cause of poverty in the region.
The emir, who was represented by Usman Bugaji, said this while moderating a paper presentation session on ‘the role of universities in nation building’ at the maiden convocation of the Federal University, Gusau, in Zamfara state, on Friday.
According to the Punch, Sanusi said unless northerners desist from marrying more wives and bearing more children than they can take care of, they will continue to live in poverty.
He said the culture of polygamy is what makes the north a major area of poverty in the country, unlike in the south where the poverty level has reduced.
“There are people who cannot afford to feed one wife but are ready to marry three wives and have more children than they can feed, talk less of paying for their school fees,” he said.
“The poverty level of the north is 80 percent, while in the south, the percentage is 20 percent, simply because of the culture of marrying many wives and producing many children who, at the end, are left on the streets to beg for what to eat.”
Sanusi said some women get divorced by their husbands, which often makes matters worse, as they find it difficult to raise the children alone.
He said such cases have led to the bearing of more criminals in society and victims of drug abuse.
The emir asked northern universities to look into ways by which such a challenge can be tackled.
“The issues we have today such as drug abuse, Boko Haram, banditry and unemployment would be nothing compared to what we will be dealing with in the next 20 or 30,” he said.