Following what they have described as an increase in the number of unmarried youths in their community, the Traditional Parliament in Imo State is currently looking at a motion which seeks to harmonize the fee to be paid as bride price in all communities in the state.
The motion, which is entitled, “Motion on the Harmonization of the Marriage Institution in Imo”, was moved by Eze Duru Okwudor and Eze Obi II of Okwudor in Njaba Local Government Area alongside other traditional rulers, and the Traditional Parliament, in Owerri, has passed its first resolution on it.
According to Okwudor, high pride price and difficulties involved in the process of traditional marriage are some of the reasons for a change in the system. He also noted that the behaviour of some parents and community leaders on the issue of bride price during marriage was a source of worry to young adults. In his words, “What obtains in the marriage institution today leaves much to be desired. It is as if the parents want to sell their daughters. If this is allowed to continue it will translate into a big problem to our youths who want to marry.”
While the motion has been seconded by some of his colleagues such as Eze Ekperechukwu of Obowo, others, like Eze Ekwueme Ekwueme, the Ochia of Ohaji Ebgema, opposed the motion and urged the parliament to allow communities to decide on the bride price. His reason: it would be out of place for the traditional rulers to decide for parents, who had spent much in training their daughters, on how much to collect for bride price.
Well, whatever they decide, a lot of non-indigenes are interested to know if the new bride price – if introduced – will be applicable to brides that will be married off to non-indigenes as well!