Should bride price be banned?. Now,more and more activists are advocating against the bride price as a degrading practice for women. Still, the bride price is alive and well in every Nigerian region and it’s usually up to the bride, the groom, and their respective families to settle this issues.You probably won’t be surprised to find out that the bride price list can differ from region to region and even from family to family. Once the groom indicates his decision to marry a girl and she accepts the proposal, the bride’s family issues a bride price list that they expect to receive in order to grant permission to the marriage.According to research, bride price varies from tribe to tribe and it depends on the custom and tradition of each family.Some people believe that it is a way to safeguard marriage while others believe, it is a way of selling their children especially the girls cheap.

    Before going deep into the reason bride price should be banned,Bride price is a Nigerian wedding custom in which a sum of money or quantity of goods given to a bride's family by that of the groom. Bride price is often confused with a dowry, but they are essentially the opposites of a single notion. A dowry is a property the bride invests in marriage, and a bride price is a collection of goods a husband-to-be brings to the bride’s family. This usually happens after the marriage proposal and for many families, the bride price is an essential step of the marriage process. Refusal of the groom to pay the bride price may result in a cancellation of the wedding or the bride’s family refusing to take any part in the ceremony and accepting the marriage at all.The concept of bride price has existed in Nigeria for as long as the institution of marriage itself. Bride price has even made its way into the official legislation in Nigeria.

        In many parts of Nigeria most notably the South-East, bride price must be paid first in order for the couple to get permission to marry in church or in other civil ceremonies, or the marriage is not considered valid by the bride’s family.Depending on the wealth of the groom he and his family can enter into a non written contract with the bride’s family, in which he pays upfront or promises to pay what he owes within a specified period of time.There are ethnic groups in Nigeria that are known to charge any man that wishes to marry from there an exorbitant amount of money. While Western white weddings are gaining traction in Nigerian society, traditional weddings,where a bride price is paid, it is common for the husband to believe that by paying the bride price, he now owns his wife.After paying all that money, do you expect the man to actually think of the woman as an equal? He bought her.This licenses marital rape and domestic abuse as the wife is seen as the husband’s “property.”But bride price isn’t just harmful to women,With rising unemployability and inflation most young men are unable to pay the sometimes exorbitant fees, that can go as high as N250,000 and cover livestock, property and servants. Most men turn to loans or installment payments that are passed onto their families in the event of their death as a “debt of honour” trapping their families and themselves in a never ending cycle of debt.

Nigeria has a beautiful ancient culture we celebrate every day with our language, emotions and interpersonal relationships. Why can’t we let go of the ones that harm half of our society? Bride price should be abolished since there shouldn't be a price tag on a human being,in a case whereby the husband cannot afford the price like in the igbo culture,the marriage would not be valid.Are you in favour or against bride price? Do you think these reasons are good enough to call for its abolition?

                                                                             BANJO ADERINOLA OLABISI


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