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Abdulhamid Badmus Yusuf

     

Marriage i.e. Nikah constitutes an important socio-religious life of Muslims. It is a prophetic tradition which largely determines the Muslim membership and identity in the  Muslim community. It is to be celebrated with funfair but in a moderate manner.

 In Ilorin as well as in the entire Yorubaland, Muslims celebrate Nikah more elaborate than they do religious festivals. In the past, the ceremony used to be a week-long event involving wining, dining and dancing in a highly electrified merriment. In the modern time, the Nikah ceremony is celebrated in an extravagant manner; expensive clothes are taken as Nikah uniforms; event centers are booked with exorbitant amount of money; bales of money are sprayed on the couple and well wishes; food and drinks are wasted whereas poor people are fenced out.

 In short, Nikah ceremonies in Ilorin and the Yorubaland are defined by Israaf i.e. extravaganza which Allah does not like. Conversely, the Nikah ceremony in the Hausaland is celebrated in a fairly moderate manner.

 But Covid-19 has affected the manner in which Nikah ceremony is celebrated in this part of the world. With lockdown in place, many Nikah ceremonies slated between March and probably August are affected. In most cases, such Nikah ceremonies have been postponed, while in some other instances, many families went on to conduct their ceremonies in a low key.

 Instead of holding it in an event center or in an open field, they decided to hold it indoors with a limited number of well wishers. This way, there is no room for wastage and extravaganza.

 This development should be seen as a good omen, though the cause is unpalatable. This is a good example of how life challenge always turns out to be the best teacher.

 Ordinarily, many people would turn a deaf ear to the admonition against extravaganza and wastage. But Coronavirus has taught us lessons in a bitter way.

 It is high time Nikah ceremony was celebrated in a humble manner. Over the years, many parents are less concerned with the future of the new couple. Rather, they are much more concerned with showing off their riches and affluence before the public. The new couple are often deceived into thinking or believing that their marital life will be as rosy as the Nikah ceremony.

 They take the fake lifestyle for a reality. But as marital challenges unfold, they find it difficult to face them squarely. This explains why the rate of divorce is getting higher and higher. In essence, marriage ceremony has lost its value in our clime. New couple are in need of  proper orientation before they embark on a long and turbulent journey called marriage.

 Henceforth, I expect that Muslims would be conducting their Nikah ceremonies in a low key. Like our fellows in the core Hausaland, it is better we conduct our Nikah ceremonies in such a way that wastages and extravaganza are avoided. Parents should be reasonable enough by not playing with the future of their wards. Instead of expending so much on the ceremonies, they should think of investing in the future of the new couple.

 Most new marriages crash land because of financial challenges contrary to what they were made to believe during the glamorous Nikah ceremony. According to a yoruba adage: ohun ti o n be leyin efa, o ju eje lo (what is to come after 6 is more than 7)

 

Dr. A. B. Yusuf is of Dept.of Religions, Faculty of Arts, University of Ilorin

 

It has been revealed that childbearing age women in Niger are now accessing family planning following the lockdown imposed by the State Government to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mrs Hassana Amos, the Assistant Officer in Charge of the Family Unit at the Family Support Programme (FSP), a Primary Health Care facility in Limawa area of Minna, disclosed on Tuesday.

Amos spoke at a one-day Challenge Initiative (TCI) media field trip on family planning to the FSP facility.

She said more women were coming to the facility to access two months injectable method of family planning to avoid getting pregnant during the period of the lockdown.

“We are attending to more women during this lockdown, especially on off-day (alternate days when people are allowed to go out of the house) within the week.

“Many of them preferred the injection type for two months.

“They preferred the injection because they feel it will still enable them to get pregnant immediately when they are ready without delay,’’ she said.

According to her, blood pressure examination and pregnancy test were also conducted on the women to ensure they were fit to access the family planning.

Amos added that the facility rendered family planning services such as injectable pills, implants and IUCDs.

She said men also come for family planning and were given male condoms.

Hajiya Amina Mohammed, one of the women who came for the programme, said she came to access the two months family planning method to avoid getting pregnant during the lockdown period.

“My husband is a civil servant and now that he is not going to work because of the lockdown, we are always together at home.

“So, our level of intimacy has increased.

“I am not ready to get pregnant now; that is why I want to do family planning for the period of lockdown,’’ she said.

She said that her husband supported her decision to do the family planning as they were both not ready for another pregnancy now.

 

The First Lady of Ekiti State, Mrs Bisi Fayemi, has urged the Federal Government to ban imported ‘Aso-Oke’ fabric and revive the nation’s textile industry to boost sustainable economic growth.

Fayemi made the call during the 2019 Africa Fashion Week Nigeria (AFWN) in Lagos.

“I will not be a hypocrite to say that we should ban all fabrics because I do wear imported fabrics every now and then.

“But when it comes to Aso-oke that I know that our women in our local communities toil at to do; and do not have the capacity to produce to scale, instead of investing in that capacity, we are acquiring a situation that others are coming to rip off our intellectual property.

“So, I join others to call for a ban on imported Aso-oke from China,” Fayemi said.

According to her, Africa fashion is all about identity, self-love, dignity, attitude and ownership to preserve its culture, heritage and connection to the international community.

Fayemi called for more collaboration between the operators in the fashion industry, the private sector, development partners and the government toward boosting the growth of the fashion and textile industry.

Also, Mrs Olufolake AbdulRazaq, Wife of the Kwara State Governor, said that African fashion had evolved and being embraced by lots of foreigners, even in Hollywood movies.

She said that Kwara State produced a lot of Aso Oke and Adire fabrics used for various events, adding that the state used its fashion as a tool for advocacy, empowerment and social development.

Commenting, Erelu Abiola Dosumu, the Erelu Kuti of Lagos, said that Nigeria was not maximising the economic benefits of the fashion industry to catalyse job creation, wealth and economic growth.

“There is a keen awareness about the fashion industry and we need to position the fashion industry to grow the Nigerian economy,” she said.

Dosumu called for more intervention funds for the fashion industry, resuscitation of comatose textile mills to boost fabric production and leverage technology to promote Nigeria’s culture and tradition through fashion.

Mrs Funmi Ajila-Ladipo, President, Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN), called for the creation of a production hub to boost fashion designers’ activities and popularise Made-in-Nigeria designs.

Ajila-Ladipo urged the government to create an enabling environment through positive policy and direct involvement with the industry to boost growth and development of the sector.

Mrs Ronke Ademiluyi, Founder, Africa Fashion Week Nigeria (AFWN), said that the organisation was partnering with FirstBank to establish a production hub for fashion designers in Nigeria.

Ademiluyi said that the AFWN platform provided an opportunity to help promote Nigerian brands through worldwide visibility, manufacturing and distribution, with a focus on using fashion as an instrument for sustainability and social change.

Mrs Helen Ugboh, Business Manager, Corporate Banking, First Bank of Nigeria, said that the bank’s support for the AFWN aimed to increase engagement and international recognition of African fashion which was consistent with its drive to enable SME development.

She said that FirstBank’s continued support for the textile industry, Nollywood, indigenous fashion designers and other value creating sectors, was to enhance economic development, sustainability, empowerment and social change in the country.

Ugboh said that the bank’s support had been through various platforms including; Mokalik and October 1st  movie, and The Fashion Souk, which involved a sales pitch to a panel in conjunction with Bank of Industry (BoI), to provide seed fund for entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.

“At FirstBank, we put our customers and SMEs at the heart of our business because SME empowerment is a cause we hold dearly.

“Our 125-year stay has seen us making impact in every aspect of national development. As you may be aware, we are also a huge supporter of home grown textile and textile in general.

“In celebrating the Bank’s 125th anniversary, we further demonstrated support of the textile industry through our over 18,000 staff within the FBNHoldings group being furnished with customized anniversary Ankara fabric to further reiterate our 125 years of being woven into the fabric of the society.

“In our just concluded FBNHoldings Christmas event, fashion designers were tasked with the challenge of creating designs with the anniversary fabric, some of these designers are part of this year’s AFWN,” she said.

She disclosed that the designs by the designers would be showcased as the FirstBank Collection during the event.

The two-day event featured catwalk, exhibition and masterclass. (NAN)