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[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. Peregrino Brimah reports ] - Addressing the perceived misuse of polygamy 'problem' and abuse of the religio-social instrument in Nigeria's north requires careful thought in adherence to religious rules. People of religions understand that God's wisdom supersedes theirs. It is therefore not expected for mere mortals to block the rich or poor from the beautiful things the all-knowing Lord has permitted in effort to control problems that may have other more important causes and existing doctrinal solutions. It is God that provides and God did not say he will not provide if you marry two women with good intention.
Many of us object strongly to his royal highness, Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi the second's proposed pauper polygamy ban. I have discussed this in at least two articles
The abuse of women and abandonment of children has more to do with the lack of women empowerment than the alleged misuse of polygamy by the poor. The wealthy also maltreat women and abandon their children. The wealthy sometimes heartlessly divorce one woman just to create space to marry another fresh one and repeat this severally without good intention. Family social problems in the north of Nigeria will best and properly be addressed when women are empowered as recommended in Holy scripture.
This piece proposes safer and religiously prescribed methods of checking the abuse of polygamy in the north without discriminatorily restricting access to polygamy in possible violation of the Islamic scripture. 
Enforce Laid Down Women's Rights
There are several women's rights that have been ignored and discarded in the north that if applied and enforced will be much more effective in checking the polygamy issue than the proposed new legislation that plans to check every man's wallet before marriage.
1. Women's Right to Reject Additional Wives:
In Islam the first wife is given the right to reject a second wife is she so states ahead of her marriage with him. Once this clause is put in the marriage contract, the first wives must give their approval before a third or fourth wife can be introduced into the equation. If the earlier wife refuses the man cannot go ahead and marry by force and has to consider divorcing the wife/wives that disagree first. Questions on Islam cited where the daughter of the prophet of Islam upon whom be peace objected to the prophet's nephew, Ali RA when he desired to marry a second wife. According to the account, the prophet advised Ali RA to divorce Fatima RA due to her objection/displeasure before marrying a second wife if he was so bent.
The Holy Quran says to marry one, two or more if you can treat them justly. There is no justice in carrying out the decision to add a third party to the family without their approval. That is an injustice. Therefore consent must be obtained before any new nuptials. Women should be introduced to this concept and encouraged to add the permission clause in their wedding contract.
If women's rights to approve is taught in all institutions, thoroughly encouraged and enforced strictly by Kano courts, the incidence of the 'abuse of polygamy' would drastically decrease.
2. Women's Right To Reject A Suitor:
A second categorically laid down women's right is the right to reject a spouse. This right must be promoted in pulpits and all educational institutions and enforced at the court level. Even young brides are granted the full independent right to approve or reject marriage in Islam. No parent or potential husband can force a woman into marriage. Emir Sanusi's new laws should make a trenchant precondition of weddings for the potential bride to be asked in confidence by professionals if she honestly and truly agreed to be wed. In any case where force is suspected, jail sentences should be recommended. This will drastically reduce unhealthy polygamous relationships.
The prophet of Islam completely rejected forced marriages. A Muslims Against Terror Press release listed several evidences supporting Islam's staunch rejection of forced marriage:

Khansa Bint Khidam said “My father married me to his nephew, and I did not like this match, so I complained to the Messenger of Allah (May Allah bless him and grant him peace). He said to me “accept what your father has arranged.” I said “I do not wish to accept what my father has arranged.”He said “then this marriage is invalid, go and marry whomever you wish.” I said “I have accepted what my father has arranged, but I wanted women to know that fathers have no right in their daughter’s matters (i.e. they have no right to force a marriage on them). (Fathul Bari Sharah Al Bukhari 9/194, Ibn Majah Kitabun Nikah 1/602)

In other accounts:

Aa’ishah reported that a girl came to her and said, “My father married me to his brother’s son in order to raise his social standing, and I did not want this marriage [I was forced into it].” ?Aa’ishah said, “Sit here until the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) comes. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came and she told him about the girl. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sent for her father, then he gave the girl the choice of what to do. She said, “O Messenger of Allaah, I have accepted what my father did, but I wanted to prove something to other women.” (Reported by al-Nisaa’i, 3217).

Volume 7, Book 62, Number 67: Narrated Abu Huraira:The Prophet said, “A matron should not be given in marriage except after consulting her; and a virgin should not be given in marriage except after her permission.” The people asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! How can we know her permission?” He said, “Her silence (indicates her permission).”

The Quran, Islam's most superior source of jurisprudence reproaches the forced marriage/inheritance of women:

Quran 4.19O you who have believed, it is not lawful for you to inherit women by compulsion. And do not make difficulties for them in order to take [back] part of what you gave them unless they commit a clear immorality. And live with them in kindness. For if you dislike them – perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good.

Rather than banning the poor from polygamy which is permitted in Islam, if the above stipulations on women's rights before and during marriage are enforced as in hadith and the Holy Quran, the desired effect and change will be realized.
3. Ban Sending Children Out To Beg:
The blessed prophet of Islam is noted to have said: whoso opened unto himself the door of begging, God will open unto him the door of poverty. Child abandonment and sending children out to beg is not abhorred in Islam. Once the state clearly outlaws such practices especially the Almajiri system, the motivation for unhealthy polygamous relationships will cease drastically.
Again the prophet is quoted to have said in relation to begging, "Verily it is better for any of you to take your rope and bring a bundle of wood upon your back and sell it, in which case God guardeth your honor than to beg of people, whether they give or not; if they do not give, your reputation suffereth, and you return disappointed; and if they give, it is worse than that, for it layeth you under obligation."
And, "Whoever hath food for a day and a night, it is prohibited for him to beg."
"Every man who shall beg, in order to increase his property, God will diminish it."
"Verily God loveth a Muslim with a family, who is poor, and witholdeth himself from the unlawful and from begging."
The Quran promises that it is the Lord that provides:

Quran 17:31 "And do not kill your children for fear of poverty. We provide for them (your children) and for you. Indeed, their killing is ever a great sin."

If a man is found to have sent his child out to beg, the man should be ordered to stand at the side of the road for twice as long as his child was out, with a begging bowl fastened to his neck and a sign detailing his shame above his head.
Other Rights:
Additional important rights to be enshrined include women's rights to divorce; to full receipt of dowry if husband is contract-breaker, (The dowry is called a gift in the Quran, and is exclusively the right of the woman. She doesn't have to spend it on the household, she doesn't have to give it to her father or anyone else but can keep it as security.); the right not to spend a penny of her income on the household even if she is wealthier than her husband; the right of a widow or divorcee with children to 'child support,' and so forth.
I believe if these and other legally enforceable processes that empower and protect women are put in place, the need to discriminate and disallow the poor –many of whom have good intentions– from polygamy, would be avertible. With the complexity of enforcing the proposed new law, and penchant for abuse of judicial processes, Nigeria's poor should not be victims of further targeted discrimination.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah ( Email: ) reports.
*Photo Caption - As seen.

[ Masterweb Reports: Olalekan Waheed Adigun reports ] - No matter how anyone may look at it, in life, we all have to make choices. In many cases, these are tough choices. The problem, often, is not in making these choices but in our preparations to face the worst, should these choices go bad (as they many a time do). All the choices we make or do not make come with their unique consequences!
On the 17th of February, 2017 the Court of Appeal gave an expected judgement which recognised the Ali Modu Sheriff's faction of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) as the "authentic" party faction. As expected, the Makarfi faction rejected the judgement vowing to proceed to the Supreme Court. Before then, one thing is sure, Modu Sheriff remains the party chairman whether we want to hear it or not!
Since its heaviest defeat in its history in 2015, it appears the party has moved from one crisis to another. It has had to cope with financial challenges, even its workers had a running battle with the party leadership over non-payment of salaries at some point. All these appear to be too much for a party that intends to play the role of opposition. The party leadership searched for solutions in the most unusual places. They, predictably, went into unholy alliances in a desperate attempt to save the party from implosion. Desperate times, they say, call for desperate measures. There are no good or bad decisions in politics as such. All that matters ultimately is what works. In times like these, inviting an arsonist when your house is on fire isn't a bad idea!
When the news filtered through sometimes last year the PDP's solution to its numerous crises is appointing ex-Borno state Governor, Ali Modu Sheriff, as its acting National Chairman, I was one of the first voices that spoke against the move. I wrote under the title, WHO STOLE PDP's THINKING CAP? Though, I agreed the party needed fresh ideas or inspiration from unusual places, to me, Sheriff will leave the party worse off than it was before!
Not long after the announcement was made, even his erstwhile critics in the party somehow found ways to support him. We were told to always see the positives in situations and stop dwelling on the past. We were told to mind our businesses, since the "APC fear him." Anyone that dared criticize the "strategic decision" the party has made in appointing Sheriff is bound to be an "APC agent." The "loyal supporters" of the party were quick to "apologise" for their previous wrong impression about their new leader. This is how short human memory can be. With that, I consoled myself. But little did it occur to the "loyal supporters" that their party lords who went to invite Sheriff could be wrong. Little did these innocent "loyal supporters" realize that the choice of Sheriff will come with some heavy consequences!
The, perhaps, unintended consequence the lions (according to Femi Fani-Kayode) never thought about was their underestimation of the ambition of Sheriff. Probably, no one told them of the ex-Governor's unnatural love for power. No one probably told them that like fried meat is to the cat so is power to Sheriff. No one informed them Sheriff can sacrifice his soul for power. No distance is too long to cover to acquire power for him. No depth is too deep as long as he strikes his gold. No height to higher than the skies for him to seek power. No amount is too much for him to spend on getting power. Power, by which I mean political power, is the only currency he knows and understands. This was the most clever choice available to the party lions. I will rather invite a thief to watch over my money than invite Sheriff to take power!
One of the events I watched closely when Sheriff's announcement was made was how the party's then spokesman, Chief Olisa Metuh, will respond to the development. I wondered if he would be the same person who will defend Sheriff on the allegations that he actually started Boko Haram. He never did. I guessed this was partly because he knew it will be difficult for him to reconcile his defence with his earlier views while Sheriff was still in APC in 2013!
With the party's brand in crisis, its media team went on a massive campaign to launder the new party leader's image. They denied he knew anything about Boko Haram. They placed the blame of the embattled Sheriff on APC's "effective propaganda." The party's Directorate of New Media, led by Deji Adeyanju, helped launder his image on Twitter. Those aware among them knew they were fighting a lost battle. No one was fighting the party, except the PDP!
Few days after the Court of Appeal judgement, one of the main actors, Governor Nyesome Wike of Rivers state granted an interview with Channels Television. I watched him say he regretted his decision to bring in Sheriff which he says is the only wrong political decision he's ever made. He also said he doesn't see himself working with someone like Sheriff.
After watching the interview, I came to two conclusions. First, Wike and his cohorts never had any idea of whom Sheriff was before going out on the suicide mission of appointing him. Secondly, Sheriff had become too difficult for him and his colleagues to control as they probably thought so things got really messy.
From Governor Wike's interview, I was reminded of the story of a man I met late last year. He got married in the first quarter of the year to a lady he had barely known (about 2 months). From my discussions with him, they probably met in an unholy place (a night club was my best guess). This man was so enamored with this lady's physical that nothing on earth could prevent them from getting married. In the teeth of opposition from his friends, relations and colleagues, he married this lady. Isn't she a woman of easy virtue? My new friend's reply was swift. Did a prostitute not wash Jesus Christ's feet in the Bible? Didn't Jesus say we should not judge? I guessed at that point, everyone around him knew his mind was made up.
Soon after they married, this man soon realized that a leopard don't change its spots. The lady will not give up overdrinking, keeping out late at nights and her flirtatious habits. My friend had thought she'll change all these after they got married, but to his dismay, she's gone uncontrollable. Before long, he started contemplating having a divorce. It was at that point I met this embittered man!
From the story above, I cannot but image how people's choices often come back to hunt them. In my 30 minutes or so of meeting him, I was left to wonder if: he just realized he got married to a whore; he came to his consciousness that the lady had an uncontrollable character; seeking a divorce will undo the damage already done to the relationships he had built over the years. If this man was looking well enough, he would have realized that he was living with the consequences of the choice he made less than a year ago!
The PDP seems to be in the same position with this man today. After listening to Governor Wike, I wondered if the PDP recently knew Sheriff to be a power monger or an opportunist. If they had done a little background check on Sheriff, the embarrassing situation the party find itself today at least would have been avoided.
This is not the time for the party to cry or trade blames for the wrong choice they collectively made. Some of us made the choice of supporting Buhari for President in 2015. While things look uncomfortable for us, we have accepted to live with the consequences of the choice we made. Those who are regretting they supported Buhari probably never did or are simply playing to the gallery. What makes a man is standing firm with the consequences of the choices one makes knowing they will serve as lessons for us in future. The party must live with the consequences of a poor choice they made!
Olalekan Waheed ADIGUN ( Tel: +2348136502040, +2347081901080
Email: or ) is a political analyst and independent political strategist for wide range of individuals, organisations and campaigns. He is based in Lagos, Nigeria.
*Photo Caption - PDP logo

[ Masterweb Reports: Deleola Daramola reports ] - Very recently, Nigerian news readers were inundated with a picture of a packaged Garri in a plastic bag. It was labeled TRS GARI -Asia's Finest Food'. Along with the picture was a compelling opener by the author of the post:
“This is sincerely an absurdity of monumental proportion and a shame! Nigerian government and regulatory agencies (if they still exist) should cover their faces in shame. I would like to ask: how much were you paid in bribe? Is this how far we are mentally bankrupt? 

We are indeed in a big mess in this country. Can you imagine imported gari from India now selling in shops in Nigeria, and the food and drink regulatory body, NAFDAC, approve this?

Habaaaaaa, Gari, too?”

The reactions and comments on social media, blogs and online newspapers were in torrents of disappointments and government bashing.

I sincerely think the whole noise is a deflection of the real issue.  In my opinion, I think we have mentality issue. Most of us do not critically think, otherwise, we could have creatively asked some pertinent questions: What if the producers sought to legally register the product in Nigeria, would the NAFDAC have had any reason(s) or moral ground(s) to have refused the products brought to Nigeria for sale? What would have been their ground(s)? How many of the people making the noise knows that the Asians produce as well as eat Cassava products as we do? Would they have ever thought that China is a huge Cassava producer? That these countries; Thailand, Indonesia, India, the Philippines, Viet Nam, and Malaysia are producers too? Everything cassava derivatives is not new to them too, on the referenced package, there is a rider under the name of the product –“Asia’s Finest Food”.
Again, whatever happens to the global trend -Economic globalization which the whole world is catching on daily? It is defined as 'the increasing economic integration and interdependence of national, regional, and local economies across the world through an intensification of cross-border movement of goods, services, technologies and capital'. 
NAFDAC Director, Special Duties and Media, Abubakar Jimoh, said that preliminary investigations revealed that the product was produced in UK, shipped to Ghana and now being sold in Nigeria. So, other than the denial that they never approved/evaluated the product officially, is there any crime in a product that was produced for exportation to countries of target audiences? This product in reference (Garri) was not even produced in India, as if it mattered where a product was made before it could/would be acceptable for Nigerian consumption. Otherwise, why are our shops still stocked of cocoa derivatives like foreign chocolates, pharmaceutical products when we are a cocoa producing country? Why do we still depend on refined oil products when we produce the crude here in Nigeria? 
We're surely sound asleep, holding endless vigils, casting and binding ‘recession spirits’ while the rest of the world is perfecting devices that make their lives and living spaces more comfortable and easier. Instead of us thinking like everybody else about how to plug into the ongoing process and system of globalization, we are everywhere ‘hating’ each other on the basis of the past election and our selfish leaders. We're completely out of sync with the global flow. 

Am scared of the impending reality of our future generations in that they may not have a Nigeria of their own or remain in the territory of Nigeria as a people or nation in few years to come! Why? Nigeria with her natural wealth could become a target of acquisition by the world powers given how we have been divesting of our land rights to foreign investors in the name of Agricultural Transformation. Today, Chinese farmers are having hectares of lands all over for plantations and farming, right in the heart of Nigeria and her states! So, question is, what is the content of the deal that was sealed? Who signed these deals on behalf of the people? Under what undertakings and agreements were the deal signed? What is the life of the deal, 10, 20, 50, 100 or more years? Governors running overseas for loans, who knows what the contents of the deals are? If they (the Chinese) own a land that they have/would transfer(ed) to their children and grandchildren, after staying there for over fifty years, won't they fight for the right of land as fellow Nigerian-Chinese? You will think it is weird, right? Wait till there is Chinese town in every town of Nigeria. 
For a few dollars more, I don't see people resisting the filthy lucre of selling their lands to the Chinese and any foreigner for that matter. Now that they've started acquiring hectares for agriculture across the country, they have technology that we're blissfully ignorant of the amazing capabilities. Who says they've not discovered treasures we don't even begin to think we had? 
Britain went to war with the natives of the Falkland Islands laying claims to a small island many thousands of miles from the UK. Why would ours be different with the way we've been sold out by our past and current leaders? 

These are the issues we should be concerned with. We need to be creative in thinking and in survival. We need to start taking advantage of the shrinking terrain of the world’s production and marketing, economically and financially to benefit ourselves individually and ultimately, the nation in general. We should look inward, purge the foreign mentality; wannabe life-styles in all ramifications. Very recently, a ridiculous Nigerian News headline says "Lagosians Groan as KFC Outlets is Shutting Down”. Is KFC our natural menu? We bunch of Wannabes! How ridiculous! Ridiculous as seeing a fellow Nigerian who traveled to Dubai for few weeks and returned with American accent, what's all that for? 

My point is that individually, we can help our folks to shift their attentions from what the government should or should not do. Some of our folks are still carrying the pains of the loss of 2015 election, to them, the current administration will never do good. All they do is find faults where there is a little window of opportunities. The political discourse on social media blinds them to reality and inherent opportunities of this painful economic recession.

Recently, I asked that I be sent Kulikuli from Nigeria. I got a huge bag of it as desired. Sadly, I could only eat few of them before dumping them into the garbage. Why? Chews at every bite were grains of stones! Isn't how Kulikuli had always been from time immemorial? "Kulikuli ma npa'kuta ni now”, so my friend responded to my complaints! But hey; critically thinking, why is it still like that, stoney and sandy? Must Kulikuli still be produced manually the way it was in 1800, even in today's 2017? If the ‘oyinbos’ who came to buy cocoa in West Africa could get us chocolate drinks/foods, candy, medicine etc, why can’t someone think of refining peanuts to acceptable/chewable kuli kuli? 

Were it the developed world producing Kuli Kuli, there would have been more flavors of kuli kuli; strawberry-kuli kuli, lemon-kuli kuli, Cranberry-kuli kuli, Choco-Kuli kuli. If the China or any of the industrialized countries wake up to see the marketing opportunities in kuli kuli, felas will start a campaign to ban the importation, they will complain and wonder 'what is this government doing'? They will worry about the Customs and the NAFDAC! 

Time to sync with the global flow is now, not tomorrow. The world is long gone, going and not waiting.

Deleola Daramola ( Email: ) reports from Calsbard, California, USA.
*Photo Caption - As seen.

[ Masterweb Reports: Seun Opejobi reports ] - Founder of the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, Ralph Uwazuruike, on Wednesday disclosed how Biafra would be actualized. Speaking during a meeting between members of MASSOB and Biafra Independent Movement, BIM, in Onueke, Ezza South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, Uwazuruike maintained that Biafra will be achieved without firing a single gunshot.
Represented by BIM’s Director of Information, Chris Mocha, the MASSOB leader said the long awaited breakup of Nigeria would take its natural course at the appropriate time.
Uwazuruike disclosed that the first procedure for declaring independence was to first notify the United Nations, UN, of its desire to separate.
Uwazuruike said, “I trained myself properly for the Biafra struggle. After I was called to the Nigerian Bar as a lawyer, I spent another 10 years studying the principles of non-violence in India, knowing full well that the only panacea for the achievement of self-determination for Biafra is non violence.
“I later spent additional 10 years working with the former head of state of the defunct Biafra, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu.
“For this reason and with my constant persuasion based on truth, Ndigbo have always listened to us. This non-violent approach is what Mahatma Ghandhi of India called Satyagraha in Indian language.”
*Photo Caption - Ralph Uwazuruike

[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. Peregrino Brimah reports ] - In a matter as serious as this, public discourse ahead of a gravely impacting new legislation that selectively targets the poor section of Nigeria is requisite. In an earlier write-up, I described several issues to consider ahead of the proposed pauper polygamy ban. See: "In Nigeria, Polygamy Shall Only Be Allowed For The Rich." Unfortunately Emir Sanusi's proposed ban is fodder for criticism and derogation of a fundamental symbol in Islam and the Biblical history of the Judeo-Christian prophets. Vanguard newspaper captioned it, "Law to ban polygamy: There’s a connection between polygamy, poverty, terrorism – Emir of Kano," the US Atlantic Black Star had this header, "Polygamy Coming Under Scrutiny In Nigeria as Emir Proposes Poor Men Be Banned from the Practice;" the BBC put it this way, "Why does a Nigerian Muslim leader want to restrict polygamy?," and NPR captioned the topic thus: "Muslim Leader In Nigeria Links Polygamy To Poverty And Terrorism."
The reasons for the intentional or accidental "misreading" of the proposed ban scope are quite abundant. In Nigeria's north, 77-81% live below the poverty line...under a dollar-a-day, according to 2015 UN Multidimensional Poverty Index data, some of the numbers in the north are: Kano -76.4%, Gombe -76.9%, Taraba -77.7%, Katsina - 82.2%, Sokoto - 85.3%, Kebbi - 86.0%, Bauchi -86.6%, Jigawa - 88.4%, Yobe -90.2% and Zamfara -91.9%. Banning the poor from polygamy is expected to ban the majority from polygamy. Religious recommendations are more often seen as solutions for the poor and not endowments for the wealthy. While the Emir is yet to lay down the criteria upon which the financially poor shall be discriminated, the worrisome challenges of such far-reaching and impacting ban if it comes into being can be anticipated.
In defense of the position of the Emir, Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC made reference to two Quranic verses which they suggested supported the Emir's position. In Islam the Quran is utilized as the ultimate source of guidance in matters of all gravity. MURIC quoted “Let those who do not have the means for marriage keep themselves chaste until Allah gives them means out of his Grace.” (Qur’an 24:33). MURIC went ahead to interpret the verse thus, "It allows a man who already has one wife to take a second woman, a third or even a fourth but with the proviso that such a man must have sufficient wherewithal to care for them all." I found it necessary to quickly correct MURIC on the errors in their application of the verse to defend the pauper polygamy ban.
Quran Refers To Wedding/Bride-price Not Family Sustenance
Contrary to MURIC's application, the verse above refers specifically to the singular "wedding" event and not the continuous "caring for family" process. The verse says, Let those who do not have the means for marriage (wedding)...stay chaste." To expound on this point, I will reference two hadith (attributed sayings of the prophet of Islam) which appear to expatiate the same topic raised in the Quran verse:

“O young men, whoever among you can afford to get married, let him do so, and whoever cannot afford it, let him fast, for that will be a shield for him.” (Agreed upon, from the hadeeth of Ibn Mas’ood, may Allaah be pleased with him. (Al-Bukhaari, 4778; Muslim, 1400).
 Narrated Sahl bin Sad: A lady came to the Prophet and declared that she had decided to offer herself to Allah and His Apostle. The Prophet said, "I am not in need of women." A man said (to the Prophet) "Please marry her to me." The Prophet said (to him), "Give her a garment." The man said, "I cannot afford it." The Prophet said, "Give her anything, even if it were an iron ring." The man apologized again. The Prophet then asked him, "What do you know by heart of the Quran?" He replied, "I know such-and-such portion of the Qur'an (by heart)." The Prophet said, "Then I marry her to you for that much of the Qur'an which you know by heart." (Bukhari No 4695/61, 547)

The line of thought can easily be picked. The Quran verse and hadith refer to affording the wedding process (Nikaah in Arabic) with dowry transaction and not family life. Allah(s) provides sustenance for who He will and withdraws it at anytime for who He may have provided it. (Quran 39:2. Are they, then, not aware that it is God who grants abundant sustenance, or gives it in scant measure, unto whomever He wills?) No one can project what sustaining a family will cost and how his income shall remain for the period after the marriage to one or more women. The Quranic verse and hadith do not attempt to restrict man from his pursuit of marriage to one or more women; the verses only insist on the necessity for a man to pay the bride price. A man can never know what he will be able to afford of sustenance tomorrow as what he has today may be gone tomorrow (well, except he was in the Nigerian top government offices and stashed away billions), but he can know if he can afford a wedding and that is why the verse is limited to this singular event. And again, if this verse is of value in creating a pauper polygamy ban, why is its use reserved only for polygamy and not monogamy to which it actually directly referred? Should the Emir not regulate all marriages including to one wife until the fatness of pocket has been verified if this is the verse his law is based upon?
A second Quranic verse used by MURIC refers to the obligation to treat the wives equally if a man is to indulge in polygamy (Qur’an 4:3). This verse has no bearing towards the justification of the proposed ban. The verse refers clearly to equality and fairness and not financial upkeep.
We respectfully invite MURIC to reevaluate its press release that makes use of these verses in defence on the polygamy marriage ban for the poor. We also humbly plead the Emir justify his proposed ban from a religious point of view for the benefit and confidence of all.
Many aspects of the proposed new legislation are quite commendable and incontestable, especially aspects that pertain to the abuse of women and abandonment of children, however a ban that puts polygamy in bad light and selectively targets the poor and thoroughly oppressed segment of Nigerians needs proper consideration, especially in recognition of the complexity of its enforcement.
Again I refer to a verse in the Quran referenced on the banning permitted consensual conjugal practices.

Quran 5:87 O you who have believed, do not prohibit the good things which Allah has made lawful to you and do not transgress. Indeed, Allah does not like transgressors.

The verse warns: do not prohibit what God has permitted, while calling for sense and restraint.
This verse, in particular, was used not even for polygamy but in a hadith to defend the more controversial practice of “mutaah,” the act of temporary marriage as quoted below:

Reference: Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 139:
Narrated Abdullah: We used to participate in the holy wars carried on by the Prophet and we had no women (wives) with us. So we said (to the Prophet ). “Shall we castrate ourselves?” But the Prophet forbade us to do that and thenceforth He allowed us to marry a woman (temporarily) by giving her even a garment, and then he recited: 
“O you who believe! Do not make unlawful the good things which Allah has made lawful for you.”

Should we risk making unlawful what God has permitted or should we put in place strict regulations on how to treat the one or more wives and offspring with prison sentences for defaulters, while additionally firmly taxing the wealthy and corrupt including state administrators, presidents, central bank governors and the like who have mismanaged and misappropriated the endowment of Nigeria's paupers?
And God knows best.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah ( Email: ) reports.
*Photo Caption - As seen.

[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. Peregrino Brimah reports ] - If God says I can, who can say I can't? Well it seems Nigerian leaders wish to do so. Ultimately as a believer I shall obey the laws of the land. The Lord shall task those in authority who "have two heads" that took it upon themselves to restrict me from my God-earned inalienable rights.
What am I talking about? Well Nigeria's Emir of Kano is pushing the state and indeed northern governments to regulate polygamous marriage among the poor. While obviously there are many great parts of the large proposed new law, there are some areas that quickly raise concern and prompt public dialogue.
According to Emir Sanusi Lamido Sanusi's proposal as I understand it, certain bodies will review the wealth status of prospective multiple wife takers on a case-by-case basis. Those who "cannot afford it" shall be denied permission to have more wives.
I am left aghast. MURIC backed the Emir citing two verses from the Quran. (Qur’an 24:33) and (Qur’an 4:3). One said what means, "do not marry unless you can afford it." Such verse if turned into law will challenge even a first marriage and is not targeted at polygamy any more than it may be at monogamy. The second verse described "treating all wives fairly, not giving advantage to one over the other." I failed to see how these verses supported an argument of the state regulating multiple marriage of the poor.
What is the religious basis if any for this new proposed legislation? Is it borne from Islam or from colonial laws and societies and demands of Bill Gates and the World Bank? Is it to stem the Almajiri child-abandonment incidence which I am by all means active against or is it a means of using that ban-worthy practice to fulfill other agenda? Is it a means of population control targeting the poor?
Let's analyse. If the new law rules that you must have a certain income to marry more than one wife. What if you had that income and 'Buhari came into power' and then you lost your job/trade and qualifying income? Will the state proceed to 'repossess" your second wife, sort-of like credit cards and mortgages?
What if the second or third wife is wealthy...can afford to take care of herself and you and perhaps others. Will the enforcers consider this in evaluating your eligibility? I dare say that I doubt state enforcers could navigate such complexities and do so without prejudice and sentiment. We do know of several cases of quite wealthy wives. The first wife of prophet Mohammed of Islam upon whom be peace, Khadija was quite wealthy. Would the prophet have been barred from marrying a second wife if he had so desired under this rule, if the first was capable of taking care of herself but his own income was regarded as below the polygamy cutoff line? Cases like Buratai's wealthy "susu" "cooperative" wives comes to mind. They were 'so wealthy' from their susu, they were able to purchase million dollar luxury hotels in Dubai nd snake farms and other million dollar properties across Nigeria and other countries. Would this law not bar the marriage of such industrious wives if the man's income is below threshold? I would hope such areas are clarified before these laws are introduced.
Is Polygamy Linked With Terrorism?
I am not sure who the Emir is attempting to please with sensational headlines like this entertained in Nigeria's dailies. The Almajiri child abandonment system is of course linked with terrorism. But rather than outlaw that system of child abandonment which is already outlawed in Islam, the Emir focuses on outlawing what is permitted in Islam to supposedly treat the related disorder.
It would be sufficient if the Emir's new law prescribed punishment including incarceration for families who abandon their children. In my view, this should have first been attempted before considering banning the poor from polygamy. Ban the Almajiri system and see what happens. Ban parents from sending their children out to beg for any reason whatsoever and see how many of them will live precariously. But to ban the poor from polygamy!???
Quran orders:

Quran 5:87 O you who have believed, do not prohibit the good things which Allah has made lawful to you and do not transgress. Indeed, Allah does not like transgressors.

The verse warns: do not prohibit what God has permitted.
Secondly it emphasizes that Muslims should be responsible and not exceed boundaries in all cases.
This verse in particular was used not just for polygamy but in a hadith to defend even the practice of "mutah," the act of temporary marriage. This goes to show the fields covered by this particular verse. The very field the Emir is waddling into.

Reference: Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 139:
Narrated Abdullah: We used to participate in the holy wars carried on by the Prophet and we had no women (wives) with us. So we said (to the Prophet ). "Shall we castrate ourselves?" But the Prophet forbade us to do that and thenceforth He allowed us to marry a woman (temporarily) by giving her even a garment, and then he recited: 
"O you who believe! Do not make unlawful the good things which Allah has made lawful for you."

I would be quite afraid to prohibit what God has permitted, be it for the rich or poor. Is poverty linked to terrorism? I beg to differ. Institutionalized disadvantagement and not poverty is the reason for terror as I have written in the past. A company of Nigeria's SGF was paid $1 million to cut exotic grass in Yobe state. This is the reason for terror. This is where we need new laws and the enforcement of them. This is where we hope to see our Emirs active. The money meant for displaced persons being coveted by officials of the presidency. Terrorism in Borno is because of Shettima, Sheriff, Dasuki, Badeh, Babachir, SEMA, NEMA and all others misappropriating the money, food and land of the poor. 71 IDP food trailers went missing mid last year and nothing happened. No law was made and the Emirs did not act or react while hundreds of the poor died of starvation. This is why we have terror. Not because of poor people marrying. This was even Boko Haram's publicity pitch: that Boko (western civilization) is the reason for your poverty...join us fight the corrupt westernized governing system that keeps you in deprivation.
Poverty does not come before organized terror. Organized terror is sponsored. Our religious leaders and governors in Nigeria quite often know the sponsors. How about we first face the affluent behind the terror rather than targeting the manipulated poor double-victims of the failures of our religious and state leaders? The Bible and Quran both adulate the virtues of the poor. Mathew 5:3 goes: "Blessed are the poor in spirit for their is the kingdom of heaven." And Luke in chapter 6 verse 24 says: "But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation."
A cursory look at the very western societies Nigeria's north appears to be emulating shows that many of the problems the Emir has easily associated with polygamy are actually problems solved where there is good governance. Hundreds of thousands of children are birthed by "jobless" single mothers in the United States each year. These would have become Almajiri and terrorists had it been in Nigeria where freely administrating government officials like Dasuki's "procurement officer," now CoAS, who buy luxury homes in Dubai and others who take million dollar personal account payments to pluck exotic grass abound, while the religious leaders look the other way and propose no new laws like the state adopting shariah hand cutting, to check them. But in the US there is social welfare. Social welfare is an essential stipulation in Islam. The poor must be catered to by the state through its earnings and taxation of the rich. So where Nigeria's leaders fail to provide social welfare which will stop the poor and abandoned from becoming terrorists, they propose banning polygamy as a remedy.
Would it not be a day, the day Nigeria's leaders, spiritual or state, proceed with chastisements, bans and restrictions for the wealthy and not first for the poor? There will be a combined solar and lunar eclipse on that day.
It is quite convenient for a wealthy Emir who has married at least five times and has at least four wives, to promote new legislation that preferentially targets the poor. It is expected for the rich administrators and legislators to pass this legislation and for the poor to soon be subject to it without say and any chance to protest. But does this make it right?

Proverbs 29:7 A righteous man knows the rights of the poor; a wicked man does not understand such knowledge.

And Allah(s) knows best.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah ( Emal: ) reports.
*Photo Caption - As seen.

[ Masterweb Reports: Poem by Pastor Chi ] - Pastor Chi can be reached by phone at +44 (0) 7405870957 or + 34631894093 and email  at She is author of “The Efficacy of Prayer”, “Breakthrough Deliverance” and “Hidden Secrets To Fulfilling Your Destiny”. Read her poem below.

                              When the work is done                         

                              When the work is done,
                              Completed in the Lord,
                              We will enter paradise
                              Singing praises to the Lord

                              Let us rejoice,
                              God has spoken in His holiness,
                              It shall be well with you and me

                               We give Glory to God in His mercy kindness,
                               Brought salvation to us  through Jesus His Son

                               The Lily of the Valley

                               The Lily of the Valley
                               Is the Lion of Judah
                               The King of Glory
                               Is the joy of Heaven
                               The Due of Heaven
                                The Laws of Shannon
                                We worship You

                                We lift our hands to worship You
                                We lift our voices together in praise 
                                On our knees we bow down to You
                                You are worthy
                                You are worthy of praise

                                 When my enemies arise

                                 When my enemies arise
                                 To take my life away
                                  I lift my yes onto You
                                  Oh, the One who dwells in heaven

                                  Oh believers
                                   Be glad, authority and power belong to Jesus
                                   In His name, receive the power to overcome

                                  Let us rejoice., the chosen one, authority
                                    and power belong to the king
                                    Let us rejoice, the believers
                                    Authority He gave us.

*Photo Caption - Pastor Chi



[ Masterweb Reports: Odimegwu Onwumere reports ] - For almost half a century, they have been living in isolation, and still sentenced to a life of misery. It is not their fault. It’s a glaring act of sheer neglect, and abandonment by government. Successive governments only made promises, a seeming fake promise of rebuilding the Ukpagada Bridge in Ogoja Local Government Area of Cross Rivers State. Nothing is happening yet, and the misery of the electorate there continues.
The only bridge linking the community with the outside world that was built by the British in the cause of colonialism, was bombed by Nigerian troupe during the civil war of 1967/70. Since then, the incident has been fueling poverty, environmental degradation, threat to life, and the like, in Ukpagada.
It is only a stony heart that will refuse to bleed as the local people narrate their ordeals to us as we listen to their testimonies: They talk about how they are detached from the rest of the world since the bridge was bombed, and that not until this year, Dr. Ray Ugba Morphy, a public spirited individual who hails from Ogoja, takes it upon himself to rebuild the bridge.
Their Ordeals
In 2016, at about midnight, Mrs. Elizabeth Sunday, 28, was in severe labour at home. She did not anticipate it. The family needed the Ukpagada Bridge to take her to the nearest health professionals. But the bridge was not there. They had to resort to an unscientific method to save her. Many like Mrs. Sunday in needed urgent medical attention never lived to tell their stories.    
The bridge connects other nearby communities like Bakor and Nkum. Since she couldn’t be taken to health professionals, the expectant mother had to deliver at home. “It was a harrowing experience and I could have died if not for providence. Although, I survived during the cause of giving birth but some others were not lucky, due to the out-of-the-way road caused by man,” she says.
Her experience also re-echoes in the neighbouring local government areas like Obudu, Yala, Ikom, Etung, Boki, Abi and Biase, all in the same Cross River. John Obo, an entrepreneur says, “Businesses are collapsing and human rights are trampled on because of the Bridge.”
The community is suffering from a long neglect by government, which has resulted to untoward flooding last year that damaged many of the towns and villages, because there’s hardly any proper drainage constructed.
“In October, seven local government areas in the state were wrecked by flood resulting to hundreds of thousands of people rendered homeless and over two hundred farms washed away. Farmlands that included rice, yams, cassava, cocoa, cucumber, palms, vegetables and others were mostly affected by flooding,” says Peter Jonas, a village head.
When the Director General of the State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, Mr. John Inaku evaluated the adversity, he awestruck the people that climate change was the culprit for the flood debacle. “The disaster was as a result of climate change as envisaged by Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NIMET,” he said.
Some of the residents nonetheless feared that the flooding was as a result of government neglect of overflowed bank of Aya River that crisscrossed the northern part of the state. This was even as Mr. Inaku gave the people hope that government was making sure that the victims did not lack.
Succour Coming At Last!
Moved by the tales of woes of the community, Morphy has taken the bull by the horns. On January 12, 2017 he offered to renovate the bridge with his personal resources.
“I decided to reconstruct the Ukpagada Bridge given its chronological archives, no matter the cost. It is not about showing off that I am wealthy; it is about knowing the true meaning of essence,’’ he says.
Adding, he says, “I learned that the Bridge was built by the British in the cause of colonialism in the country called Nigeria today and was bombed by the Nigerian troupe fighting with the Biafran side during the 1960-1970 war in the country.
“While that project has been taken, all well meaning sons of Ogoja and indeed those of Bakor extraction, should know that we still require to put a grader on that road that has been reduced to a motor-bike highway for over 47 years of neglect.”
Morphy who last year quitted Governor Ben Ayade’s job as Special Adviser, Strategy and National Contact, due to some pressing differences, on January 29, said, “I am delighted to inform all those concern that an Ogoja daughter in the UK and a member of the royal Morphy family, Mrs. Paulina Morphy-Fogg and her dear husband, Eric Fogg, have both decided to follow the pathway set by their brother (me) to undertake the construction of the second mini bridge to push further the connectivity link between Ukpagada and the world.
“The project is set to commence in the next two weeks as all necessary logistics shall be carried out to ensure a smooth take off.”
Hopefully, the likes of Mrs. Elizabeth Sunday will not have to go through what her family and she went through during labour again. They will not deliver their babies in the bush again as there are prospects of motor vehicles conveying them to health facilities, and economic activities coming alive again courtesy of the kind gesture of Ray Ugba Murphy.
Odimegwu Onwumere ( Email: ) is a Poet, Writer and Consultant based in Rivers State.
*Photo Caption - Photo 1: Dr. Ray Ugba Morphy; Photo 2: Ukpagada Bridge before commencement of work by Dr. Morphy.

Masterweb Reports: Olalekan Waheed Adigun reports ] -On Sunday 5th February, I suffered two major disappointments. First, like most patriotic Nigerians, I supported, and planed to participate in the protests organized by Nigeria’s music legend, Innocent “TuFace” Idibia on Monday 6th February, 2017. Nigerians have suffered so much and for too long. The government must at least hear our cries. And since I was one of those who participated in the Occupy Nigeria protests against President Goodluck Jonathan in 2012, I felt the moral obligation to join other Nigerians in protesting against the increase in cost of living among Nigerians. I was stunned to find out that the music icon has “chickened out” using the exact words of SaharaReporters. TuFace has announced the cancellation of the protests citing some “vested interests not aligned with our own…” wanting to “hijack the protests.” He never mentioned anyone’s name neither did he leave too much to the imagination as to who the “vested interests” were!
Second, I was eagerly awaiting the news of the arrival of President Muhammadu Buhari after his 10-day leave expired on Sunday 5th February, 2017. I was left disappointed after a friend, and well-known PDP disinformation agent, called to tell me that the president will not be resuming on Monday after all. I took his view with the wave of the hand as the usual politics. I wasn’t ready for his style of politics that wish people dead simply because one has political disagreements with them.
Around 3 pm on Sunday, the special adviser to the president on media and publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, gave a big gift to my PDP friend who called sent me a link of the “extension of the president’s vacation.” At that point, I could no longer assume David, my friend, was playing politics. He called me for up to 15 times that evening, but I did not return his calls.
That the “extension” gave the president the right to stay in London sine die is equally discomforting. Some say it could take as long as four months. While no sane Nigerian will wish the president dead at this time, it should not be difficult to the Presidency to come out clean on the state of the president’s heath. When he became president, Buhari has become Nigeria’s property. Nigerians deserve to know whatever is going on with his at every material time.
The “extension” of the president’s “vacation” or “medical (sick) leave” only further fuels suspicions and rumours of our worst fears. Few years ago, when something like this happened the ruling cabal exploited the power vacuum to loot and nearly brought confusion to the nation.
The Presidency is not about just Buhari. The fact that Buhari is presently medically unfit should not hold the nation to ransom. This should not mean Nigeria is sick. Certainly, it should not set the nation on fire. Government is a continuum; it needs not start or end with one person.
On the botched protest, I wish to say this. Building a nation requires courage, not cowardice. This is one lesson Nelson Mandela taught us all. I understand that some “vested interests” were more interested in the protests than TuFace himself. I am aware the “vested interests” are hell-bent on scoring political points with the protests and not participating based on genuine love for the poor and the down trodden. I am aware some of the “vested interests” provided heavy amounts of stolen money to fund the protests. All these notwithstanding, Tuface should have gone ahead and who knows, the revolution may just start from there!
OlalekanWaheed ADIGUN ( Tel: +2348136502040, +2347081901080 Email: , ) is a political analyst and independent political strategist for wide range of individuals, organisations and campaigns. He is based in Lagos,
*Photo Caption - President Muhammadu Buhari

[ Masterweb Reports: Lee Seung reports ] - Shortly after news broke on the blogosphere that film maker, Seun Egbegbe, was arrested for allegedly defrauding a bureau de change operator of $60,000, online commenters were quick to flood various blogs airing their opinion on the issue. Many of them insisted that the filmmaker must be under a “spell.”
Egbegbe was re-arrested six days to his appearance before an Ikeja Magistrate’s Court over a case of theft he allegedly committed in Computer Village (Lagos) on November 22, 2016, when he reportedly stole nine iPhones. An online commenter, Tundebrown Ademuyiwa, urged people to pray for the man. “Someone has cursed this guy, he needs original prayers,” he said. Another commenter simply identified as Tex king believes that the filmmaker was cursed by a woman.
“I believe this is not ordinary. First it was the issue of trying to steal iPhone and now this. One babe don go village swear for this guy. I’m very sure,” King said.
An anonymous commentator was of the opinion that a pastor could help his situation and speedily advised that he visits popular pastor, T.B Joshua for deliverance. “I think this guy’s problem is more spiritual than physical. Whoever knows him should tell him to visit T.B Joshua,” he said.
Lee Seung ( Email: ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Seun Egbegbe