A house of a representative member, Kennedy Ibeh, representing Obowo State Constituency in Imo State House of Assembly, has sponsored a bill to regulate the State’s high cost of customary marriages.
Ibeh, during his presentation of the bill for a second reading during the plenary, argues that the predominant marriage practices in Igboland had made many young ladies remain single.
According to him, “a suitor coming to pay for a lady’s dowry may find it tasking to settle for the English wedding which again demands more expenses.
“Part of the prayers of this bill is that once a suitor pays and completes the bride price of a lady, a clearance certificate should be issued to the groom by the father of the bride, who will present same to the traditional ruler of the community for the final issuance of Customary Marriage Certificate (CMC) at the cost not exceeding N1000.
“No customary marriage in the state including the final stage of Igbankwu ceremony shall exceed the sum of N180,000 with the exclusion of the bride price, which shall not exceed N80,000.
“It is quite unfortunate that this practice has caused so many of our marriageable ladies to remain single and men apprehensive of taking the bold step. This is wrong, and we must discourage it at all costs.
“This bill, if eventually passed into law in the state, will correct the anomaly. As you can see, our young men and women are not getting married because of the monetary involvement. It is about time this obnoxious practice was stopped,” he concluded.