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The Continuing Crisis

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Mohammed Bello Abubakar, 84, a Muslim preacher in the western Nigerian state of Niger, told a BBC reporter in August that, although he personally has 86 wives (and 170 children), other men could not handle that many. "(M)y own power is given by Allah," he said. "That is why I have been able to control 86 of them." The usual maximum for Muslims is four, but Bello Abubakar said the Quran does not specify punishment for violation. Besides, he said, "I don't go looking for (women). They come to me" because of his reputation as a healer. (Two weeks later, Reuters reported that local clerics were pressuring Bello Abubakar to divorce 82 wives of his choice, but a spokesman for the preacher said he was resisting.)

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