For the first time in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, 25 Muslim couples were married at the weekend in a mass Nikkah (holy matrimony).
Held at Ojaba Central Mosque, the event was the first in the state and Southwest.
The mass wedding was attended by the Chief Imam of Ibadan, Sheik Abdul-Ganiy Agbotomokekere; the Chief Preacher of Ibadan, Sheik Abdul-fatai Alaga; Chief Ajanaasi of Ibadan, Sheik Zakariya Ona-Ido; the Mogaji Abata community, Alhaji Abdul-Mojeed Abata, among others.
The facilitator, Sheik Taofeeq Akeugbagold, said it was meant to tackle adultery and fornication, which he said is rampant among youths.
A non-governmental organisation (NGO), Al-Balag Islamic Organisation, through one of its arms, Ebi-Alayo (Happy Home), said many youths were fornicating because of the challenge of getting godly spouses.
Addressing the couples, their families and other Islamic leaders, Sheik Akeugbagold said the weddings had the consent of parents of the couples.
The cleric said since the initiative was introduced through the Ebi-Alayo (Happy Home) media outreach in January, over 100 applicants have showed interest.
He said many applications were received from Lagos and Ibadan, adding that the group decided to join the 25 couples in Ibadan after checking their background, preparations and agreements (to abide by Islamic ethics).
Akeugbagold, who chairs the Muslim Wing of the Pilgrims Welfare Board, said the group was also planning another mass wedding targeting 200 couples.
The Islamic scholar urged willing Muslims to express their interest through the group’s hotline: 08057818180.
He said his aspiration to cause a positive change emanated from the encouragement he got from Governor Abiola Ajimobi.
According to him, the governor always told him to find ways to touch the lives of residents through his appointment into the pilgrims board.
Agbotomokekere enjoined couples to remain together, irrespective of challenges they may face.