Unlike the trend in some of the northern states, Jigawa has modified the concept of mass wedding by turning attention to orphaned girls in the state.
The idea for the proposed mass wedding was first muted by the state government about two years ago and since then little or nothing was done to actualize the plan. Some people in the state had even lost confidence on the willingness of the state government towards making the event a reality.
Initially, the state planned the event for divorcees but later decided that orphaned girls need the assistance more than the divorcees.
Chronicle gathered that when the government settled for the orphaned girls’ mass wedding, the state Governor, Mohammadu Badaru Abubakar, was reported to have insisted on the need to conduct a low key wedding but the Emir of Dutse, Alhaji Nuhu Muhammad Sanusi alongside other committee members prevailed on the governor for the occasion to be celebrated with fanfare.
The wisdom behind the idea of celebrating the occasion with pomp and splendor, Arewa Chronicle gathered, was to motivate wealthy individuals in the society to emulate the government by replicating the gesture in their localities.
The state government constituted a 16-man committee to select the beneficiaries. The members of the committee were chosen from the state Council of Ulamas, Hisbah, Operatives of Department of State Security, representative of the state’s Police command, women’s groups and other relevant stakeholders to ensure fairness and transparency.
Ten orphaned girls were selected from each of the 27 local councils of the state and unlike what used to be seen in other states, where all the brides-to-be will be assembled at the state capital, the Jigawa mass wedding was planned to be conducted in the beneficiaries’ local councils headquarters.
Dutse, the manucipal council, hosted the flag off ceremony last Saturday by conducting a mass wedding of 11 orphaned girls at the council’s central mosque.
Speaking during the occasion, Special Adviser on Religious Affairs to the state governor, Mustapha Sale Kwalam, said a total of 270 girls were selected for the mass wedding in the state.
He said each of the selected bride-to-be would receive a set of chairs, bed, mirror, wardrobe and a host of other items adding that the state spent the sum of N336, 000 for the purchase of a set of furniture for each of the beneficiaries.
Kwalam said, “The sum of over N93 million was spent for the purchase of furniture and other items for the mass wedding of 270 girls in the state. The sum of N336, 000, was spent for the purchase of each set of furniture for the bride-to-be.
“Each of the bride, is expected to take the delivery of the following from the committee, 6×6 bed and mattress, set of chairs, dressing mirror, four pieces of curtain, two pair of pillows, wardrobe, leda carpet, two pieces of Ankara, two pieces of bed spread and HIV/Aids screening fee.
“Part of the conditions for selecting a beneficiary, include that the girl, must have attained the age of marriage and must have a suitor that is ready for marriage while on the part of the groom, he must have a source of livelihood, an accommodation and the bride and the groom, must go for HIV/AIDs screening.”
The committee introduced an album containing the packages which will be given to each of the beneficiaries. Chief Imams, Hisbah command of the local councils and district heads, must also fill in a form testifying all items are delivered intact.