MARRIAGE AND THE NIGERIA CULTURE

People and Society

Marriage within the various tribes in Nigeria has been conceived by our forefathers since the birth of history. The traditional culture has always stood the test of time irrespective of the introduction of modern days practices to Nigerians by the western world for over two decades ago. When it comes to marriage rights, the culture of the land takes the center stage with all the traditional rights and ceremonies conducted as stipulated by the bride’s family. Aside from pride, it brings to both families, it also acts as a means or protecting our culture from extinction.

Irrespective of the joy these brings, inter-tribal marriage has not been completing approved by some lineages who see it as defiling the culture of the ancestors of the forefather, to the extend of disowning a child who goes against the will his or her parents. While some culture is allowed to betrothed their daughters into underage marriage without consent to the adverse implications it may have on the child’s life. Unfortunately, this is still practiced up until today. And has led to many unhappy marriages and divorced homes in Nigeria.

I could recall sometime in the past, there was a controversy surrounding the marriage of an indigene of Umuduru to an Esan woman from Idua in Edo state. This is may have been a result of a feud between these two tribes or communities. as was narrated by someone from a reliable source but who pleaded anonymous due to security purposes, did emphasis on the cultural history of each town which does not encourage inter-tribal marriages. The family from each lineage insisted that the marriage was forbidden and the couple needs spiritual cleansing to apiece the gods of the land.

In Umuduru community, Isu local government in Imo state, the then chief priest (Anyehe Ngameduru) said it was an abomination for an Isu man to be married to a woman from Esan, such a man will become an outcast and may lose the inheritance of his fathers land, except the Idua woman prepares herself to be circumcised before she can be welcomed into the community as one of their own.

While on the other hand, the Idua community in Esan local government, in Edo state were also demanding the man to be given ritual marks on his body and perform some ceremonious rights before he can be accepted into their family. This became a constant warning from relatives and families, at this time the couple lived in the family house at Benin, but relocated to Auchi where they felt would be home to their children, nonetheless, the belief and difficulty surrounding their family background was becoming a nightmare each passing day.

As if that was not enough, there is also a constant threat from the son of the chief priest in Umundugba by name Anyehe Ngamuduru who is notorious and influential in Imo state. He terrorized the couple and sent thugs to the home as a reminder that being they will not be safe anywhere in Nigeria unless they adhere to the instruction of his father, the chief priest.

The said Anyehe Ngamuduru is named amongst the kidnappers who kidnapped and murdered the Late Edwin Ajaere, the CEO of Good is Good motor in March 2009. Anyehe is at large after he was declared wanted by the anti-robbery unit of the Nigerian police force also tied to other criminal acts carried out by him and his gangs.

The couple could not leave their chance to fate as a result of his past background history but made an effort to retreat abroad for fear of the safety of their lives and that of their children. They have been living abroad ever since.

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