The Gombe State Government says it spent N151.8 million on the mass wedding of 720 couples in the state.
The Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwambo, made this known during the wedding ceremony of the couples in Gombe on Tuesday.
Dankwambo said the amount was expended on the settlement of dowry, purchase of food items, textile materials, furniture, kitchen utensils, as well as take-off capital for the couples.
The governor said that the materials had already been distributed to the beneficiaries by the committee set up to organise the wedding.
He revealed that some of the couples were People Living Positive
“Our aim is to ameliorate the negative implications of failed marriages and the attendant consequences on our society,” he said.
Ambassador Aliyu Dala-Hassan, Chairman of the Committee on Mass Wedding, said the committee consulted traditional rulers and local government chairmen before conducting the marriages.
He called on the government to sustain the programme because of the advantages inherent in the exercise.
“I want to appeal to Gov. Dankwambo to sustain the programme because it will greatly reduce social vices and assist the less privileged to get married,” he appealed.
Alhaji Shehu Abubakar, Emir of Gombe, said that the marriage was first of its kind in the state.
Abubakar said it would promote cultural values of people in the state.
Malam Ibrahim Suleiman, representative of the beneficiaries, commended the government for the gesture.
He said that sustaining the scheme would greatly reduce the spread of HIV/AIDs virus among the people of the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that out of the 720 couples that benefitted from the gesture, 612 are Muslim divorcees (Zawarawa), 76 Muslim spinsters and 32 non Muslims.