In September 2013, hundreds of single women led by Suwaiba Isa stormed the streets of Gusau, the capital of Zamfara State, protesting scarcity of husbands for more than 8,000 of them.
A similar protest earlier planned by Hajiya Altine Abdullahi for widows and unmarried Kano women in August 2009 was averted by Kano State Government which quickly arranged mass wedding for 1,000 women in the state.
It had looked as if the trend was restricted to the Northwest part of the country and the Muslim population until a pastor in one of the churches in Gombe State raised concern over their unmarried ladies’ choice of men from outside the region, especially the Southwest part of the country who came to take their women away.
Reports say that 60 per cent of the non-indigene population in Gombe State is made of people from the Southwest part of the country, who the Oba of Yoruba in Gombe, Abdulrahim Alao Yusuf, said have been living in the area for more than 150 years.
At 35, Godiya Adamu is yet to find a husband; a situation she blamed on her inability to find a man who is serious about marriage.
“What would I do? I can’t force myself on men if they do not come,” she said, revealing that she had been in about five relationships without meaningful results before she eventually gave up. “As far as I am concerned, life continues with or without a husband,” she said.
On her part, Abigail, a mother of two, said she deliberately chose to be a single mother so that she might have peace of mind. “I live in my own house in this Gombe with my children. I am their mother and their father,” she said.
Abigail said she chose to be single because she could not play the second fiddle in a marriage.
She said: “I have friends who prefer that the man should not make their existence known to the wife at home and they are comfortable with it.
“What I want to say is that one should go for whatever will make one happy. There is nothing new again under the sun.
Esther, a 45-year-old single lady, said the new trend now is for ladies to go out of their state and culture to marry. “I was in a wedding where a pastor here in the North complained bitterly that Yoruba men are taking their girls away. He said when they marry them, they don’t stay in Gombe but take them to their part of the country.
“So I said why will this not be so because some of the young men that you see out there are into drug addiction, and who wants to marry a drug addict
“The truth is many of them are not serious. It is not only men that are looking for decent and serious ladies, ladies too are also seeking decent men to marry, and that to me is scarce right now in this generation.”