Nineteen women were yesterday disqualified by the Kano State Hisbah Board from participating in the mass wedding organised and sponsored by the state government following the discovery of their HIV status which was positive.
Sixteen others were also dropped because they were pregnant.
However, at least 1, 111 divorcees and widows from the 44 local government areas in the state were joined in matrimony at the City Central Mosque during the brief but colourful ceremony.
The mass wedding was conducted by the Chief Imam of Kano Central Mosque, Professor Muhammad Zaharadeen.
The event was attended by the state Deputy Governor, Dr Umar Ganduje, along with top Islamic clerics across the state.
However, each of the grooms signed an undertaking not to divorce their spouses without recourse to the board, as contravention will attract a N50,000 fine.
Addressing the couples shortly after the ceremony, Commandant, Kano Hisbah Board, Sheik Daurawa explained that the measure was adopted to check rising cases of divorce in the state.
He said: “We cannot fold our arms and watch our heritage destroyed. What we have done remains the best in the light of several cases of divorce among couples in the state, to halt the destruction and bastardization of our heritage,” Daurawa said.
Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano State later hosted the couples to a grand reception at the Government House, beamed live on radio and television stations across the country.