BY NWABUEZE OKONKWO
ONITSHA — Former Military governor of old Anambra State, Col. Robert Akonobi (rtd), has pleaded with Igbo parents to reduce the bride price of their daughters so that ‘’our young boys can marry them.” ‘’To me, this topic (bride price) has been dealth with in the past by Ndigbo, who came out with a reduced bride price, to enable our young boys marry our young girls,” Akonobi said.
Akonobi also cautioned that men should study their proposed wives closely and longer before engaging into marriage because “once you marry, no one else can put it asunder.” He spoke at the industrial city of Nnewi, Anambra State during the traditional wedding ceremony of the daughter of a business mogul, Chief Louis Onwugbenu, Onyinye and her husband, Bosah Chukwuogo, weekend.
Nnewi was agog as dignitaries from all works of life trooped to the residence of Chief Onwugbenu for the memorable event. The dignitaries who were from both the military, political and manufacturing circles, including Col Akonobi, Hon. Clement Nwankwu, former member of the House of Representatives; Chairmen and Chief Executive Officers of Gabros International Limited and Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Limited, Chief Gabriel and Innocent Chukwuma respectively, among others.
The issue of high bride price was discussed extensively on the occasion. Hon. Nwankwu, in his own speech, prayed that Chief Onwugbenu and his wife would live long to enjoy the fruits of their children, especially those who married from outside their areas.
Also, speaking, Mrs. Onwugbenu expressed gratitude that her daughter’s hand was given out in marriage and prayed that her in-laws who came all the way from Awka to marry her daughter, would go back home safely. Father of the bride, Onwugbenu, in his own speech, said he had already blessed his daughter and her husband to go and make a good home.
On the bride price controversy in Igbo land, Onwugbenu declared: “We do not charge money as bride price for someone to marry my daughter. To me, what is important is that my daughter should live in peace with her husband. Let her husband’s family members accept her as part and parcel of their family.”