Emir of Kano Muhammad Sanusi II has said he was sick of receiving numerous requests from philanthropists asking to build mosques in Kano State instead of empowering the girl-child through education to ensure a sane society.
Sanusi, who made the remarks on Thursday, January 19, 2017 during a conference on Islamic finance organized by the International Institute of Islamic Banking and Finance (IIIBF) at Bayero University, Kano, said it was not a coincidence that the Northwest region is the most backward in almost all indices of human development.
“I’m just tired of people coming to me to say I want to build a new mosque. You know, we keep building mosques and our daughters are illiterate. So, my appeal is that if you really want to help Kano, don’t come to me with a request to build a N300 million mosque because I have enough mosques everywhere. And if I don’t have a mosque, I’ll build it myself. If you really want to help, go and educate a girl child in the village.
“It is not a mere coincidence that this is where you have the highest levels of illiteracy, early marriage, divorce and the highest levels of domestic violence,” he said.
The emir said to reverse these negative trends, there was a need to change the law and educate the children of the downtrodden.
“People need to understand that the law has to change. If you look at the medical data on maternal health, girls who get pregnant below the age of 15 are five times as likely to die as girls who get pregnant at the age of 20. Those who get pregnant under 18 are twice as likely to die as those who get pregnant at the age of 20. So it’s important that we look at this issue of early marriage.
“If you look at the statistics, 48 percent of girls from the age of 15 to 19 in northwestern Nigeria are married, but that’s not all, 75 percent of these girls cannot read and write. Imagine what society we are creating, he added.
Sanusi said that the government should build more schools and provide teachers just as the private sector can also assist where the government lacks resources.
“If you can get foundations to provide the funding and the government to focus on girl-child education, and change the law with the support of the scholars because that’s where the big problem is, then we should be able to address the issue,” he said.