Plateau community reduces bride price to encourage legal marriages

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By James Moses (9News Nigeria -Jos)

Stakeholders blame rising cases of SGBV on indiscriminate mining, alcoholism.

Worried by the endemic cases of Sexual-Based Volence traced to unlawful marriages known in the the local parlance as ‘aure leather’, meaning (leather bag marriage), the Gyel District of Jos South local government area of Plateau State has taken the lead in reducing the number of items required for the traditional marriage rite to enable aspiring young men afford the cost of and get married legally.

This is as a call is made for curbing of indiscriminate mining which is said to contribute to the prevalence of alcoholism and sexual-gender based violence in the communities.

Speaking during a panel discussion organised by Women Rights Advancement and Protection, WRAPA in commemoration of 2024 International Women’s Day for stakeholders from the Berom tribe in the State, the District Head of Gyel, (a Berom enclave), Da Nga Dangyang through his secretary, Rwas Jonathan pointed out ways that women inclusion are ensured on their commuinity saying there is a bye-law to ensure enforcement.

He said “The Gyel Traditional Council has developed a bye-law which gives women the opportunity to be in the Traditional Council, determine the type of punishment given to anyone who is involved in any form of violence, spells out ways to mitigate insecurity.

“The Council had reduced the bride price to N30,000 because it was discovered the high rate of the bride prices were the cause of unlawful marriages and the reduction has swelled up the number of legitimate marriages in the District.

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“The bye-law also says women who don’t work should be given a percentage of their husband’s salary”

A Berom elder, Da David Gyemang insisted that the rich culture of Berom Nation especially on the family life is being eroded by indiscriminate mining activities which make very people get quick money to indulge in alcoholism and early marriages.

“One major activity going on on the Plateau now is illegal mining and very young people dropout of schools to engage in it. They get quick money without the capacity to utilize the money. They go into drinking and began to cohabit in the name of marriage. This is very risky, some parents are even encouraging their children not to go to school but to go for this mining at the age of 10, 15 years, many of them go into drinking and marriage.

“So, as a man, he is always drunk and cannot even perform his duties as a man and when the girls be don’t get the satisfaction they desire from their men, they get along, with the available person that can meet their needs. When men cannot perform and he sees his wife is not faithful, he vents the annoyance in the form of beating and other forms of violence.

“We have been advocating for organised mining with financial literacy so that the youths be can be guided on how to make use of their money and even pay taxes to the government. When this is done, the rights of the men and women would be protected as this organisation is advocating”.

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Earlier, the penalists, Dr Dachollom Jambol (Chairman of Berom Elders Forum), the Gwom Rim (Chief of Rim), HRH Gyang Danhoro, Presidedent of Berom Educational Cultural Organization, BECO, Da Gyang Dudu, Presidedent of Berom Youth Moulders Association, and Chairman of Berom Districts Development Association, Da Silas Pwajok, moderated by Mr Steve Aluko denounced all form of SGBV saying they are strange to Berom culture.

The speaker’s commended the Gyel District for the Initiative reiterated that Berom culture does not encourage domestic violence as there were laid down principles to checkmate such but blamed negative impacts of civilization which alienate parental and community inputs in the choice of marriage partners and called for mentorship and discipline in the society.

The State Coordinator of WRAPA, Mrs Jummai Madaki noted that the event aimed at promoting women’s inclusion as fundamental and a smart approach that supports inclusive communities as catalyst to development and has its goal, the encouragement of men and boys to become a key allies and actors in the fight against SGBV through commuinity based dialogue in panel format.

In his remarks, Nanle Gujor, the secretary of Plateau Initiative for Development and Advancement of the Natives, PIDAN, the umbrella body of all the Indigenous Development Association in the State, said the rest of the tribes and natives associations should emulate the Gyel District and reduce the exorbitant bride prices. Rev. Christopher Dasher asked that religion and culture collaborate to find a balance in curbing SGBV.

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Meanwhile, participants including people living with disabilities, the youths, women, and others condemned violence against women and girls, agreed to replicate the Gyel District bye-law in the whole of Berom land, asked that harmful traditional practices be abolished, and called for the upholding of traditional practices that promote commuinity well being.

The Berom are mostly farmers are mostly farmers, located predominantly in Jos in Jos Plateau with a population of approximately 3.5millon, Covering four major local government areas: Jos North, Jos South, Riyom and Barkin-Ladi.

The Berom are also one of the largest autochthonous ethnic group in Plateau Central Nigeria, with rich cultural heritage, and great potentials.

Plateau is known as Home of Peace and Tourism. .

-9News Nigeria.

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About James Moses 1887 Articles
James Moses is a 9News Nigeria news correspondent reporting from Jos, Plateau State. He is an experienced writer, journalist and blogger. He is passionate and flair for Politics, Sports and Entertainment reporting. Contact James Moses via his email address: jjmoses00@gmail.com