Wife of the Benue Governor, Mrs. Eunice Ortom, has appealed for a review of high bride-prices in Tiv land in order to enable young men get married when due.
She made the appeal to Tov Tiv-elect, Prof. James Ayatse on Tuesday, February 21, when she led women from the fourteen Tiv speaking local government areas of the state on a courtesy visit to the Ayatse in his private residence located in judges quarters, Makurdi, the state capital.
The women numbering about one hundred were drawn from zone A and B senatorial districts with chief Mrs. Vicky Gemade and Chief Mrs. Regina Akume, wives of the two Senators representing the two senatorial districts in attendance. Also included in the visit were wives of the six first class Chiefs in Tiv-Land ….Tor JEMGBAGH, Tor JECHIRA, Tor Lobi, Tor Kwande, Tor Gwer and Tor Sankera as well as the three female sole administrators of Buruku-Mrs. Tina Sorkaa, Gboko-Mrs. Becky Orpin and Katsina Ala –Hon. Vera N. Abua.
In a remark, Dr. Mrs. Ortom explained that the visit was to identify and rejoice with the Tor Tiv elect in line with the biblical direction which says “we should rejoice with those who rejoice with us,” and expressed the readiness of the women to stand in her support to ensure a smooth reign of her husband.
However, Mrs Ortom decried the high demands made on young men seeking to marry Tiv daughters, and described the situation as “very discouraging”.
“Such high demands discourage many bachelors from even attempting to get married; the result is that many young girls cannot find husbands,” she said, adding that such exorbitant charges were not part of Tiv culture. Such charges are imported; our traditional rulers should discard them,’ she said.
While noting that bride-price payment was sacrosanct in every marriage, she cautioned parents against selling their daughters especially since the relationship between in-laws remains, long after such marriage rites.
She regretted that many young men now preferred to elope with their loved ones owing to such huge monetary demands, and stressed the need to make the process affordable so as to restore the sanctity of the marriage institution. She pledged her support to the new monarch, saying that his emergence was an act of God that would bring unity to the Tiv nation.
Responding, the traditional ruler promised to work toward a united Tiv nation, and promised to be truthful, transparent and promote the fear of God at all times. He also promised to uphold valuable cultural practises and repeal negative ones.
Also speaking, the wife of the Tor Tiv Mrs. Ayatse advised parents in Tiv land to instill norms and values in their children. The traditional ruler also promised to be a problem solving king who will speak for the Tiv nation and uphold the truth at all times.
He assured that he would bring together traditional rulers and church to address the problem of high bride price in Tiv land, as well as do away with all issues that are repugnant to natural justice and equity.
The Tor Tiv gave assurance to invite all politicians in the land to dialogue on politics without bitterness and the need to balance politics and farming, promising also that he will not be a partisan politician.
“God who chose me has a vision. I have told my Tiv people that God will lead the Tiv, not me. God says he will be king over Tiv and take care of their problems and the result will be wonderful “the Tor Tiv emphasized.