By Ben Ugorji, Owerri
Kennedy Ibeh, the member representing Obowo state constituency in Imo House of Assembly, has sponsored a bill to regulate the outrageous cost of customary marriages, with particular emphasis on Imo state.
Ibeh, while presenting the bill for the second reading on Wednesday during plenary, said that the practice predominant in Igboland, had caused so many of the young ladies to remain single.
According to him, “a suitor coming to pay for a ladies dowry may find it tasking to settle for the English wedding which, again demands for more expense.
“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 if Igbankwu ceremony shall exceed the sum of N180,000 with 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.