Idoma monarch pegs bride price at N50,000, cancels expensive funerals 

Idoma monarch pegs bride price at N50,000, cancels expensive funerals 

The Idoma Area Traditional Council of Benue State has established a unified traditional bride price of N50,000 for those marrying into the tribe. In a New Year message, the paramount ruler, Ochidoma Elaigwu John, declared an end to expensive burial ceremonies in Idomaland, aiming to reform cultural practices causing hardships.

Prohibitions include imposing costly burial rites and denying children and wives inheritance rights. The council also mandated affordable and timely burials and designated burial grounds. Traditional marriage conditions and expectations were removed, and the indiscriminate burial of corpses around communities was banned. These reforms resulted from extensive consultations with local leaders and subjects.

He said; “Imposition of costly prescriptions, stipulations, and requirements on the bereaved family for the burial rites of a deceased person is hereby prohibited in Idomaland. Burial rites should be conducted within affordable means of the family and, as much as possible, concluded within two to three weeks from the date of death

“The practice whereby relatives deny and deprive the children and wife or wives of the deceased of their right to inheritance of the deceaseds property is hereby prohibited. “For the avoidance of doubt, where the deceased is survived by wife or wives and children, such children and wife or wives shall have the right of first consideration, in the apportioning of the inheritance, in the absence of a written will. The deceaseds wife shall be buried in her husbands place, except in special circumstances where the wife, during her lifetime, was married to and had children for more than one man, in which case, the wife may be buried in her fathers place to allow other husbands and children to partake in the burial rites.

“Traditional bride price in Idomaland is hereby unified and fixed at N50,000. All forms of stringent conditions, stipulations, and expectations associated with traditional marriage are hereby removed and prohibited. Every community is mandatorily required to, within a period not later than 31st December 2024, earmark and designate a place in each village or hamlet, as a burial ground, to bury corpses, the traditional ruler said. Where for any special reasons, a person has to be buried within or around the compound, the permit of the traditional ruler must first be sought and obtained and such burial spot or grave must be marked and secured. 

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