It was love at first sight in June 2018 when Halima Salisu, 16, met Abdullahi at Gosa market in Mpape, a settlement that expands to the urban fringe of Nigeria’s national capital. It was a surreal encounter between her, a food seller, and him, a meat seller.
Ms Salisu, who simply identified Abdullahi, now her ex-husband, by his first name, said they were so much in love that they could not wait to settle down together. She told her parents about him and within three months of meeting they were wedded according to Islamic rites.
But the ecstasy of love made her neglect a vital issue. Abdullahi’s mother did not support the marriage because their tradition in Soba, Kaduna State requires a male child to marry his first wife from the community. He had earlier married a lady from there but divorced her because he was not interested in the marriage, Ms Salisu told PREMIUM TIMES.