Bride price was originally meant to be a token from a groom to a bride’s family in appreciation for taking care of their daughter up to date.
However, most bride families have seen the bride price as a means to extort money from their in-laws and enrich themselves. Some bride families set a bride price that is so high one will think they are selling off their daughter forever.
This obvious reason has left most mature ladies single as their potential husband can not afford such extravagant marital requirements.
The First Lady of Benue State, Mrs. Eunice Ortom has appealed to families to reduce the bride price of their children so that young men can get married and start their own family early.
Mrs. Ortom made this appeal to the Tor-Tiv elect, James Ayatse when she paid him a courtesy call in Makurdi, to bring down bride prices in TIV land.
The First Lady, who runs the Eunice Spring of Life Foundation (ESLF), told the Tor-Tiv that the high demands made on young men seeking to marry TIV daughters were discouraging the men as they don’t feel like they need to “buy” a wife.
“Such high demands discourage many bachelors from even attempting to get married; the result is that many young girls cannot find husbands.”
The first lady also acknowledged that bride price was sacrosanct and meant to be a secret between both families, urging parents against selling their daughters off, considering the fact that the girls will still remain theirs even if they later bear another surname.
Due to this high demand of outrageous bride price, many young men now prefer to elope with their loved ones or simply impregnat her so the family has no choice but to accept whatever he brings to the table.
As for the young women who can not be married off at such high price, they start living their live with marriage as the target and do not mind giving their life savings to assist the man in marrying them.
It is believed that in Nigeria, some tribes are peculiar to this trait. While there is a speculation that it is cheaper to marry a Hausa/Fulani woman, it is pricey to marry from the South-East part of Nigeria.
A few months ago, there was a trendy buzz on social media after one Pastor Abasiubong Tom posted a photo of a marriage introduction which allegedly took place in Mbaise, Imo State.
The photo portrayed the items demanded by and offered to the woman’s family. The numerous items to be offered gave some single guys reasons to stay away from single ladies from that tribe for the purpose of marriage.
Pst. Abasiubong Tom posted the picture with the caption “Traditional marriage things in mbaise….. I’ll run oo”.
Well, most bachelors are on the run for the same reason and may remain single for a while until either they make enough money to meet the demand or parents reduce the bride price of their daughters.