A member representing Obowo constituency in the Imo state House of Assembly, Kennedy Ibeh, has sponsored a bill seeking to stop outrageous cost of traditional weddings in the state.
Ibeh said the practice which is predominant in Igboland was a contributing factor to delayed marriage among many ladies in Imo.
According to the lawmaker, prospective suitors feel intimidated by high cost of traditional weddings and expensive white weddings, hence may prefer to remain single or marry from other tribes.
“A suitor coming to pay for a lady’s dowry may find it tasking to settle for the English wedding which again demands for more expenses.
“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 of 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.”
Ibeh believes that if the bill is passed into law, it will help address delayed marriage among unmarried youths in Imo.
“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 said.