This elderly Nigerian man has married more than 100 women in his lifetime

Meet Mohammed Bello Abubakar, the 92-year-old Nigerian man with 97 wives. Photo / Youtube/Al Jazeera
Meet Mohammed Bello Abubakar, the 92-year-old Nigerian man with 97 wives. Photo / Youtube/Al Jazeera

While most of us are in a never-ending struggle to find just one person to love till death do you part, there is an elderly man in Nigeria with 97 lifelong partners.

That's right. Mohammed Bello Abubakar, a 92-year-old from the town of Bida, Niger state, has married more than 100 women in his lifetime in what he describes as a "divine" calling.

In his lifetime, Abubakar has fathered a total of 185 children - most of whom he has outlived - and 107 wives, 10 from whom he has divorced.

Abubakar has been a media subject for years, but he came back into the spotlight this year after reports surfaced of his death.

"My dear, I am very much alive, hale and hearty," he told Nigeria's Vanguard newspaper.

"The rumour is baseless and can best be described as the work of my detractors because they envy what God has done and what He is still doing for me.

"What I am doing is divine. It is an assignment and I will keep doing it till the end," he added.

Local Islamic authorities in Nigeria have been in conflict with him over the legal status of his plethora of marriages, who describe his atypical household as cult-like and out of step with Islamic law.

While polygamous unions are not recognised under civil law in Nigeria, the 12 states governed by Sharia law do recognise polygamous unions as equivalent to monogamous marriage.

However, there is typically a four-wife limitation, and even that is contingent on the man being able to financially and emotionally support them equally. In addition to exceeding his limit by 93 partners, the former teacher and preacher currently has no discernible income.

But he says that, under his own interpretation of the religion, "the Koran does not place a limit and it is up to what your own power, your own endowment and ability allows".

In 2008, a Nigerian court ordered Abubakar to divorce 82 of his 86 wives within 48 hours, or leave the state. By the expiration of the ultimatum, Abubakar had refused to divorce any of his wives.

Abubakar lives with all of his wives and children in a single apartment block. Photo / Youtube /Al Jazeera
Abubakar lives with all of his wives and children in a single apartment block. Photo / Youtube /Al Jazeera

But despite all his obstinance, he said he wouldn't want any other men to follow in his footsteps.

At the time of the legal controversy, he told the BBC he is only able to cope with all the marriages thanks to the help of God.

"A man with 10 wives would collapse and die, but my own power is given by Allah. That is why I have been able to control 86 of them," he said.

"I don't go looking for them, they come to me. I will consider the fact that God has asked me to do it and I will just marry them."

He claimed his wives sought him out because he had a reputation for being able to heal the sick. The women - many of whom are even younger than some of his elder children - claim he cured their various illnesses.

After reports of his death surfaced in June 2012, Abubakar gave a rare interview to The Nation in which he said he was not finished marrying yet.

"My large number of wives? I only have 97 wives," he said. "I am still going to marry more. I will keep marrying them for as long I am alive.

"Left [to] me, I would have married maybe two wives, but what I am doing is divine."

He even claimed those who oppose his cult-like lifestyle were committing blasphemy in doing so.

"I just want to advise those fighting against the number of my wives to stop because such people are waging war against God, their creator."

- news.com.au

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