Why I Banned My Ministers From Marrying Extra Wives – Mohamed Bazoum

The president of Niger Republic, Mohamed Bazoum, said he has forbidden all his ministers from marrying extra wives as a measure to tackle poverty and birth control in the country.

According to the World Bank, the country is one of the poorest countries in West Africa with a GDP per capita of $567.7 and population of 25 million.

In an interview with VOA Hausa, Mr Bazoum, who is in Washington for the US-Africa summit, blamed the high rate of illiteracy in the country for the population explosion.

He said even the Arab nations, which his people see as role models for practicing Islam, don’t give birth to many children.

“The Arabs are role models in the practice of this religion (Islam). But you hardly find more than three children in a house, each family has two or a maximum of three children, and that’s the case in all Arab and Muslim nations.

“In our own case, you will find 10, 20 and even 30 children in one house, that is the first step to poverty,” Mr Bazoum said.

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“The major cause of this is because our people are not educated. A lot of us didn’t go to school, and it’s only when you seek knowledge that you would understand that giving birth to plenty will led you to poverty.

“Take the elites for example: ministers, security chiefs, and top government officials. You will never find 30 children in their houses, and these are the rich people in our society.

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When asked if that was the reason for his decision to ban his ministers from marrying more wives, Mr Bazoum answered in the affirmative.

He noted that any cabinet member who intends to marry an extra wife must drop his appointment.

“Yes, I gave that order, you can’t be a minister in my administration and marry two wives, and none of them have flouted that order.

“However, those who have two wives before taking office are allowed to retain their wives,” he added.

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