By Nehru Odeh
The Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa , who was at the centre of the storm lately, has lashed out at those who criticized him for showing off his four wives and 27 children on the floor of the House of representatives. Ado-Doguwa, said he was allowed as a Muslim to marry that number of wives, adding that it was a common thing in the northern part of the country dominated by Muslim Hausa and Fulani. He also said his father, who died in 2019 at 86, was survived by over 40 children, one of whom was a four-year-old.
Ado-Doguwa caused a stir on 29 January, 2020 when as he was about to be sworn in as a member of the House of Representatives spent one hour thanking the leadership and members of the house and the All Progressives Party as well as his four wives and 27 children. Ado-Doguwa later apologized to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State for having only one wife, while he (Ado-Doguwa) has four.
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While briefing the leadership of the House Press Corps, Ado-Doguwa said, “My father left behind over 40 kids. He died only last year. Amongst the children he left, one of them is less than four years old. An 86-year-old man left a child of less than four years old for me and I’m catering for him by the grace of God.
“As far as I’m concerned, as a Muslim, it is not I who will cater for them, God caters for everyone, He only uses human beings as agents. And I’m glad that God is using me as His agent to feed my entire family, to train them and take them to good schools which I’m doing. And catering for my family does not in any way deprive me of the privilege to also cater for the downtrodden in the society, and that is the secret of my coming to the House day-in-day-out.”
He also said: “If anybody from the South looks at me somehow, because that (having more wives and children) is not part of their tradition, I’d understand. But I’d be more disappointed if a Fulani, Hausa or a Kanuri girl looks at what I did with any sense of disdain. And if not that I’m also a member of the fourth estate of the realm by extension, the first thing I would do was to take it up with Daily Trust for allowing a lady, a columnist, to come and attack my personality, make reference to my name openly. Not because I’m Leader of the House but as a person, I’m entitled to the privacy of my family life. As a person, that’s embarrassing. This is my position. And I want to warn everyone. Everyone!
“My wives are respected women, they are proud of me and I’m proud of them in their collective entity. And if there is any trouble, do you think I could force them to come to the floor of the House? And one thing you don’t know: right from 1992 when I got married and successfully got the remaining three, all of these women have been my wives; I’ve never divorced anyone of them. If you like, I can give you records of so many VIPs who divorced their wives. I married from my locality, from respected families among my people in my constituency. I know their families and they know mine before we came together as man and wives.”
The lawmaker described his wives as legitimate, indigenous and not ‘imported. “I’m not only disappointed, I’m disenchanted by the kind of reactions I received especially on social media on the day of my swearing-in, simply because I brought my four wives with me on the floor of the House and I told the House that these people, these women are here to respect the institution of the House.
“These are my legitimate wives; everybody knows them, starting from Abuja down to my village. And I’m a Muslim; not only a Muslim, I’m a proud Muslim, practising Islam. And the most fundamental pillars of every faithful person in Islam is what they said Prophet Muhammad should be your watchword, the Prophet should be your role model. Every proud Muslim places Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as his role model in actions and in thoughts. So, as a proud Muslim, marrying four wives is in all ramifications, copying the practice of Muhammad (PBUH).
“I’m allowed by my religion to marry four wives. I’m allowed by my religion to marry and generate, to produce and reproduce. So, if there is anything that can now be subject of ridicule, subject of reactions, write-ups in pages of papers and, unfortunately, sometimes by Muslims, no one of my wives was embarrassed, no one of my kids was embarrassed.”
He further said, “As a good Muslim that I am, I tell you that I’m proud of my family; I’m proud of marrying four wives; I’m proud these four wives are not even imported. We have a lot of people here who call themselves VIPs and who went out to import wives. My wives are indigenous wives; not only are they indigenous, they are my village people, all four of them are from Doguwa Local Government Area. So, I cannot be a subject of embarrassment unnecessarily.
“So, I want you guys (journalists) to take this out as widely as possible. This is my reaction. And I’ll not take it lightly. And if I have the opportunity, God willing, I’ll continue to count my kids.”
Ado-Doguwa, who was in the National Assembly between 1992 and 1993 in the Third Republic, has been a member of the House o Representatives since 1999, representing Tudun-Wada/Doguwa Federal Constituency of Kano State. On 29 January, 2020, Ado-Doguwa was among the six new members who were sworn in after winning reruns declared by courts.