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Kirikasamma’s ban on night courtship

The Kirikasamma Local Government Council (LGC) in Jigawa State on Monday December 30, 2019 enacted a bye-law banning members of the opposite sex from meeting at night. The Chairman of the Council, Salisu Garba Kubayo said the measure became necessary owing to the rampant cases of adultery which most times resulted into unwanted pregnancies in the area. He said the law was enacted with a deliberate intention to restore moral values in Kirikasamma communities.

The Council Chairman explained that the law persons of opposite are not to be seen together beyond 10pm; adding that anyone found contravening the law would be arraigned for prosecution. He further disclosed that the law banning night meetings of opposite sexes had been ratified by the Council. According to the new law, members of the opposite sex found violating the law shall, henceforth, be liable to a jail term of six months or a fine of fifty thousand naira (N50, 000.00) only.

Speaking on the matter, the local government information officer, Sanusi Doro, said the council chairman, Salisu Kubayo, signed the law after ten councillors of the LGC unanimously agreed to it during a council meeting. Doro said true lovers can only meet for discussions during the daytime. The signing of the law was done in a ceremony widely attended by residents of the area including the Chief Imam of the community.

Commenting on the enactment of the law on behalf of other councillors, Sa’idu Marma, said the law became paramount following growing complaints from parents about incidences of out of wedlock pregnancies allegedly due to night meetings between the opposite sexes. Marma added that, as leaders, they would be held responsible for the successes as well as failures of the LGC. He said fornication and unwanted pregnancies among girls have constituted major challenges to parents in the area. In his remarks at the event, the Chief Imam of Kirikasamma local government, Ali Liman, lamented the alien tradition of boys and girls frequently partying at various locations in the area. He said this has resulted in many immoral activities between young adults, men and women. Liman who commended the council chairman said the new law would help in addressing social vices that have become a menace in the area.

For once, the Kirikasamma law that restricts night meetings between male and female brings to fore the parliamentary responsibility and singular power of a local government to find solutions to some social and other forms of peculiar challenges confronting its communities. The rare enactment of bye-laws by most 774 LGCs in the country suggests that majority of those elected to represent their people at the local government level as councilors or chairmen are either not aware of their legislative duties or do not have the requisite competence to carry out such duties. It is, perhaps, due to either of these that elected members of LGCs in Nigeria wrongly believe that all the problems facing local communities under their jurisdiction can only be resolved by the state or federal government.

Beyond the implementation of the ban by the Kirikasamma LGC on night courtship is the need for parents to live up to their obligations as fathers and mothers in the provision of moral training and guidance for their children and wards. If most parents were dutifully alive to their individual and collective responsibilities, the situation in Kirikasamma LGC would not have degenerated to a level that warranted members of the Kirikasamma LGC to enact this bye-law. Young girls who lack adequate parental control, monitoring and guidance easily become vulnerable to the unsuspecting tricks of boys. Similarly, girls are effortlessly lured by boys when parents fail to provide them with their basic natural needs.

To make councillors and local government chairmen more efficient in the discharge of their legislative functions, we recommend an upward review of the least qualification required to contest for these two local government positions from school certificate to NCE and/or National Diploma. We urge parents to create enough time and attach greater importance to monitoring their children’s activities.

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