The Traditional Parliament in Nigeria’s eastern state of Imo, on Thursday in Owerri passed its first resolution on the harmonisation of bride price in all communities in the state.
The motion, entitled, “ Motion on the Harmonisation 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.
Okwudor identified high pride price and difficulties involved in the process of traditional marriage as some of the reasons for a change in the system.
He 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.
“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,” he said.
Okwudor, therefore, listed the process by which marriage would be made less cumbersome and cheaper to both the family of the would-be bride and the bridegroom.
The motion was seconded by Eze Ekperechukwu of Obowo.
However, Eze Ekwueme Ekwueme, the Ochia of Ohaji Ebgema, opposed the motion and urged the parliament to allow communities to decide on the bride price.
He said 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.
Another motion tabled before the parliament was the motion on “The Presentation and Sharing of Kola nuts in Imo.”
The motion was introduced by Eze Okwara Echi from Nkwere Local Government Area and supported by three other traditional rulers.
Another motion brought before the parliament was that of making the speaking of Igbo Language compulsory in the state schools.
Reacting, the Chairman of Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Samuel Ohiri, noted that the motion on kola nuts would be deliberated upon by a committee that would be formed by the parliament while that on the speaking of Igbo Language would be reintroduced.
The highpoint of the parliament sitting was the formalisation and conferment of the title of Owelle Gburugburu of Igbo land (Traditional Prime Minister of NdiIgbo) on Gov. Rochas Okorocha.
The motion for the conferment of the title was moved by Eze Obiefula, Ezedibia of Nekede, and seconded by Eze Onwuchiribeya Mmerenni of Umudibia in Owerri West Local Government Area.
They noted that the governor deserved the title considering his leadership qualities and achievements in the state in his one year in office.
Responding, the governor thanked the traditional rulers for the award, saying that the title signified “a big journey that has just started.”
He pledged his unalloyed support to the success of the traditional parliament.