The Zamfara State Deputy Gov. Malam Ibrahim Wakkala, says he will sponsor the mass wedding of 100 prospective couples in the state.
Wakkala made the announcement on Saturday in Gusau at the graduation ceremony of 200 women trained in various empowerment skills under his youths empowerment initiatives.
Newsmen report that the training was carried out by the Rigar Yanchi International, an NGO, in collaboration with the state council of Ulama sponsored by the deputy governor.
He said under the programme, 100 males and 100 females would be selected across the 14 Local Government Areas of the state for the mass wedding.
He added that the process had commenced with various stakeholders on how to select the beneficiaries.
“Our aim is to reduce number of widows and divorced women in the state. We noticed that many of them want to marry but they don’t have financial support to do so’’, Wakkala said.
According to him, no fewer than 1,000 women would be trained on various skills and empowered under the initiative.
“We are today graduating the first set of 200 women as the pilot scheme; we are going to continue with the remaining 800 women very soon.
“Women are among the vulnerable groups and they are also the major victims of various crises in the society.
“We have many women that need urgent support especially widows, divorcees, orphans and other categories of less-privileged in the society to enable them to become self-reliant, ” he said.
Wakkala said apart from women empowerment scheme and mass wedding, he would also sponsor youths to be trained on modern farming techniques in the state.
In his remark, the Emir of Gusau, Alhaji Ibrahim Bello, commended the deputy governor for the initiative which he described as a welcome development and timely.
The emir represented by the Sallama of Gusau, Alhaji Abdulkadir Usman urged well-to-do individuals in the state to emulate the deputy governor to reduce poverty and unemployment in the society.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Rigar Yanchi international, Malam Almustpha Khalifa, said the organisation was established to assist the less-privileged and vulnerable groups in the society.
“We are calling on people of the state especially well-to-do individuals or organizations irrespective of political or religious inclination to partner with us to improve the living standard of our people’’, he said.
Newsmen report that the beneficiaries were trained in various skills such as bed-sheets making, tailoring, baseline and perfume making, among others.
The beneficiaries were given money and materials as starter pack to enable them start their own businesses.