The usual dowry for these 'city girls' ranges from N150,000 while the average bride price paid for a girl in the IDP camps ranges from N10,000
Young men ready for marriage are abandoning girls in the city of Maiduguri for eligible brides in the Internally Displaced Persons camps (IDPs) due to various reasons.
The young ladies in Maiduguri who according to Daily Trust, call themselves ‘city girls', say they are getting worried about potential suitors rushing to these camps, threatening their chances of tying the knot anytime soon.
High bride prices and other costs are greatly affecting the chances of these 'city girls' getting married as the brides from the IDP camps offer lesser marriage prices to these young suitors who quickly abandon these girls they have dated for years.
The usual dowry for these 'city girls' ranges from N150,000 while the average bride price paid for a girl in the IDP camps ranges from N10,000, Daily Trust reports.
“When someone whispered to me that the guy proposing to marry my childhood friend is abandoning her for an IDP bride, I could not believe it. But it happened, just because he could not afford N500,000 to N1 million. He went for a rustic bride who I’m sure cannot even cook well, ” 23-yr-old admission seeker, Falmata Bashir Modu told Daily Trust.
“I cannot afford to miss someone I love because of bride price. I’m not for sale. There is a minimum amount fixed by Islam as dowry and I do not mind asking for that, once the love and understanding is there. What I want is to enjoy my marriage with a man I love,” Aisha Mustafa, a 22-yr-old student of University of Maiduguri told reporters adding that she is ready to convince her parents to reduce the dowry to a considerable amount.
Speaking to some of the grooms who had gotten wives from the IDP camps, these men explained why they pick these women fast.
“Maiduguri girls have no time for their suitors during courtship and they tend to be full of themselves. It is either she is busy at home or attending to her parents. I need enough time with the girl I want to marry so that I can understand her very well. The single girls in the IDP camps give time and attention. Some of them are even more beautiful and intelligent than the so-called city girls,” said Alhaji Fannami Marte who just married a second wife from the IDP camp two months ago, adding that it wasn't due to the high bride price.
A man who identified himself as Marte said he met his wife at the IDP camp.
“She is beautiful and the smile on her face attracted me and we got talking. In three weeks, we got married and without stress. Yes, she might have been born in a village but she can fit in even in London,” he told Daily Trust.
“Only two of the seven men paid a dowry of N10,000 each. All others paid N5,000 each and they are all living in peace. It’s love that matters," said Kyari Modu, a civil servant who is yet to be married.
“I married a beautiful woman, with good character. All my neighbours envy me.” said Bana Alhaji Kyari, a trader at Bolori market in Maiduguri.
Alhaji Kyari also revealed he spent a total of N14,500 on dowry instead of the N300,000 he would have spent on a bride from Maiduguri.
“If I have my way, all men should go to IDP camps and marry. They’re the best,” the happy man told Daily Trust.
An IDP bride who identified herself as Maryam Isa Bulama, told Daily Trust that a day has been fixed for her wedding and the issue of the groom-to-be leaving a city girl for her is of no concern to her.
“It is not right - and downright cruel - for anyone to say that IDPs are rustic or illiterates. I am a graduate of Sociology and there are girls here with Masters degrees. We are victims of insurgency, and it could happen to anyone. Going by the UN definition of a city, Maiduguri is not even qualified to be one, even if it is bigger than Bama where I come from.”
She added that women are not for sale, “Whatever circumstance they may find themselves, ” Bulama said.