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Why there are many cases of marital disputes in Sokoto

The Commander of the Sokoto Hisbah Commission, Dr. Adamu Bello Kasarawa, has attributed failure of marriages and disputes between couples in the state to lack…

The Commander of the Sokoto Hisbah Commission, Dr. Adamu Bello Kasarawa, has attributed failure of marriages and disputes between couples in the state to lack of adherence to the injunctions laid down by Islam.

He said many couples and parents often ignore the laid down injunctions and introduced innovations that often sow the seed for an unstable marriages right from inception.

The Commander said the commission had in 2018 resolved 29,220 cases of marital disputes in the state.

He said the figure was far lower than the 48,000 disputes resolved in 2017, which he attributed to sustained sensitization involving scholars and Imams

Giving the breakdown he said that in Zone A, which comprises Tambuwal, Kebbe, Shagari, Yabo and Bodinga local government areas, a total of 5,423 cases were recorded while 7,102 cases were recorded in Zone B, comprising Gwadabawa, Kware, Illela and Gada local government areas.

Similarly, a total of 8,951 cases were recorded in zone C which comprises Sokoto North, Sokoto South, Dange-Shuni, Tureta and Wamakko and in zone D, comprising Binji, Silame, Tangaza and Gudu, a total of 2,982 cases were recorded.

The Commander added that 4,762 cases were recorded in Zone E, which is made up of Isa, Sabon Birni, Goronyo, Wurno and Rabah local government areas.

According to Kasarawa, Gada local government had the highest number of marital conflicts in 2018 with 2,914 cases followed by Sokoto South with 2,897 cases then Gwadabawa with 2,872.

Binji has the lowest rate with only 101 case followed by Tureta with 102 cases then Rabah with 173 cases.

He said some of the identified factors responsible for these cases include ignorance, lack of in-depth investigation, deception, betrayal, jealous and intrusion by parents.

Others are belief on soothsayers, assault, establishment of illicit relationship outside marriage, lack of adequate attention to a partner and poverty.

Kasarawa said that some couples got married without having the necessary knowledge about the institution, hence they were not aware of their responsibilities in their matrimonial homes.

“This is why each of the couple is not discharging his/her responsibility as expected and because they are impatient with one another, conflicts ensue. Therefore, there is a serious need for would-be-couples to have religious knowledge which would guide them in their matrimonial life,” he said

The Commander also attributed the problem to failure to undertake in-depth investigation on family status, faith, financial capability and even mental status of the proposed husband.

Karasarawa said Islam has made it incumbent on parents to choose a good partner for their daughters.

He added that some marriages were contracted on deception and betrayal, which often lead to problem after the other party has discovered the truth.

He such included situations where the partner has a deformity which was not revealed to the other party until after the marriage was contracted.

“In Islam, couples have to be truthful to one another, if one is having any kind of problem, he/she should reveal it to the other before the marriage,” he said.

He also attributed the problem to poverty where the husband does not have enough resources for proper upkeep of the family.

Other factors include unequal treatment and injustice by husband in a polygamous family and attempts by parents to ensure that their daughter controls her husband.

Kasarawa further said the culture and traditions were other reasons for problems in marriages, especially in Muslim communities such as Sokoto.

“Here, the number of boxes and the quantity and quality of its contents, fondly called ‘Kayan lefe’ determines what the bride would bring to your home.

“Some parents often reject “kayan lefe’’ because they are not satisfied with the quality of the materials or its quantity. Likewise the quality and the quantity of the materials and the food stuff brought by the bride always determine how she would be treated by her in-laws and even her husband,” he said.

Kasarawa, however, said that the commission was working towards changing this tradition and finding durable measure to tame marital disputes in the state.

“We are meeting and notifying Scholars and Imams of Juma’at and five prayers mosques about the problems and the need to support us in reorienting our peoples and educating them on marriage and matrimonial life. They have assured us of their maximum support and some have started preaching on it in their juma’at sermons.”

Kasarawa also appealed to traditional rulers to boost their efforts in discharging their responsibilities, particularly resolving marital issues in their domains.

He also called on parents to desist from interfering in matrimonial lives of their children unless when it is necessary and to choose the best suitors for them.

The Hisbah Commander urged couples to be patient and tolerate one another while husbands should endeavour to give their wives adequate time and attention, noting that this would prevent them from having illicit relationship with other men.

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