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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

After my dethronement I returned to school, will graduate PhD Sept -Sanusi

Muhammadu Sanusi II, the reinstated Emir of Kano, has shared how he utilized his time away from his royal duties to pursue further education.

In an interview with Saturday Sun, the former of Central Bank of Nigeria, revealed that he is set to graduate in September with a Postgraduate Diploma from the University of London and has completed a PhD thesis on the codification of Islamic Family Law.

Sanusi emphasized the importance of education in addressing societal issues, citing his research findings that poverty and lack of education are root causes of child marriage and marital problems in Kano.

He praised the Kano State government’s efforts to prioritize education and provide opportunities for women and children.

Sanusi expressed his desire to share his knowledge and research with the younger generation, hoping to give academic lectures and postgraduate seminars on Islamic law at Bayero University.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding his position as Emir, Sanusi remains committed to learning and contributing to society.

He said: “In fact, I had just completed writing a PhD Thesis in the University of London, a week before I returned to Kano. I will be going back next month to conclude some things, because I will be graduating in September. Let us just take that as an example, the PhD thesis I wrote was on the codification of Islamic Family Law as an instrument of social reform.

“This was one of my major projects as an emir trying to codify Islamic law to deal with a number of issues around child marriage, around domestic violence, around child spacing and basically women and children’s rights and so on. And because I did a PhD on the subject matter, some of the things I learnt have basically made me rethink some of the premises upon which we are passing that law.

“Today, if I were to reconstitute the committee, I will have different areas of emphasis and different understanding of some of the issues.

“I will give an example; we always talk about child marriage as a problem. And we think that the solution is to have a law that says every girl must reach the age of 18 before she gets married, but the reality is that the solution is in what the Kano State government just did – giving priority to education. They have to be at schools, you have to provide them with what they are going to do.”

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He added, “We did a research and we found out that within Kano city and environs, we don’t have child marriage because there are schools all over. Parents can send their children to schools, they can go to secondary schools, and they have teachers. If you go to the villages and a girl is 11 or 16 years old, and there are no schools and teachers and nothing to do, the father marries her off. It is not religion, it is not culture, it is just a failure of the state to provide development.

“So many of the things we have taken as either religious misunderstanding or culture are actually issues of governance and development and the failure of the state. Okay, you want to have a minimum age like the Arab states, fine, but do we register birth? If we don’t start registering everybody, how do you even know the age of the child? How do you enforce that law in a court of law? These are just a few of the examples.

“Part of my work was that I gathered data from nine Sharia courts from the three Senatorial Districts in Kano and asked, what are the major marital problems faced by women in Kano? We started from the premise of what is a global discourse on the problem because every society has its own issues. Do you know what we discovered? More than 40 per cent of all the cases in courts and before Hisbah have to do with men not providing maintenance for the families. It is poverty. Men are not providing food or accommodation, or they have divorced the women and are not taking care of the children.

“So, many of these socio-cultural problems have their roots in economics. Therefore, providing an education, especially for the women, and providing them with an opportunity to earn a living are the solutions. So, when we write the law, we must bear in mind these things. Now, some of the things I have seen in the speech of the governor (during his declaration of state of emergency on education) are the kind of things that other states had said in the past because my thesis also did a comparative analysis with Morocco. What do they do in Morocco?

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“They built the schools, invested in school transportation just like we are now talking about school transportation. The girls would be moved from villages to the nearest schools. They also invested in school feeding and equally provided financial support to the poorest families who are ready to send their sons and daughters to schools. So, they don’t need them to earn a living to send their kids to school. So, if a parent is below a certain poverty line, and he allows his daughter to go to school, the government would give him some money, so that he does not have to marry his daughter off. He doesn’t also have to get her to trade. She goes to school, and the parents get some compensation for sending her to school. Now, that allows the girls to get education and earn a living.

“So, for me, the PhD was a major eye opener. Like I said, I am not the kind of person that just sits in one place and says, okay, now that I am not an emir, let me wait until I become something else. No. I said ok, let me do something with my time and I have moved. For me, it was on transition. I was governor of the Central Bank. I was told to move and I moved. People have jobs and they resign, right? You’re a former civil servant, former teacher, former this or that. Yes, I was an emir for six years. It’s nothing. I moved on but now, God decreed that I must come back. It is a new transition. With all the knowledge I have built, I’ve improved myself.

“When I finish my PhD, hopefully, I will ask Bayero University for an opportunity to once in a while go and give academic lectures and postgraduate seminars on Islamic law. I won’t have the time to give a full course or to mark, but all this research; the data that I had gathered in Kano needs to be shared with the younger generation,” he said.

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