Gov. Nasiru El-Rufai of Kaduna State, says the state government is working on a family law that will set ground rules for marriage and tame the high rate of divorce in the state.
El-Rufai said during the inauguration of the Kaduna State Child Protection and Welfare Committee on Tuesday in Kaduna, that the law would sanction men who get married at will and divorce without taking care of their children.
”We live in a society where people marry at will, divorce at will without regards to the injunctions of both Islam and Christianity.
“The victims of this careless attitude to family life are the children, who suffer the most.
“So, we are working on legislation that will put a cost to divorce, that will put a cost particularly on men who send-off their women with the children and not taking care of the children.”
He added that the law would provide for the establishment of Family Courts.
El-Rufai noted that the challenges faced in the country was as a result of broken homes.
“We believe that the crisis of the family in this country is the root of everything we see from drug abuse , banditry, insurgency.
“We believe that we are facing a national crisis about the family and it requires a dedicated and focused approach.
“So we will legislate, and once we legislate, the judiciary has no choice but to ensure we have family courts across the state.”
According to him, he had earlier approached the state judiciary to create family courts, but the response was negative.
“There is a bit of push back. The judiciary is very conservative, it doesn’t like changes and they feel that creating a special court for a particular department of the law tends to constrain the development of the judges.
“Because if the only case they do are family cases, there is likelihood of them not going to the Court of Appeal or Supreme Court.”
The governor also said efforts were on to develop a central state-wide marriage register which would be linked to residents’ registration details and National Identification Number.
“This will enable the state government to know everything about it’s residents.
“We will know where a person is and we will be able to track those that have children or have divorced, and where the children are,” he added.
El-Rufai said that the initiatives were designed to protect children from abuse and exploitation, as well as help the child welfare protection committee to do its work better.