The Idoma Area Traditional Council of Benue State has implemented significant reforms aimed at curbing extravagant burial ceremonies and promoting more equitable cultural practices. In a New Year message released by the paramount ruler, the council declared a prohibition on imposing costly requirements for burial rites and emphasized that such rituals should be conducted within the means of the bereaved family.
The reforms also address issues related to inheritance, ensuring that the children and wives of the deceased are not deprived of their rightful share of the property. Furthermore, the traditional bride price for marriages within the Idoma tribe has been unified and fixed at N50,000, accompanied by the removal of stringent conditions associated with traditional marriages.
These changes come approximately one year and a half after the ascension of Ochidoma Elaigwu John, a former Deeper Life Pastor, to the throne in June 2022. The decisions were made following extensive consultations with rulers, political leaders, and community members. T
he council stressed the importance of concluding burial rites within two to three weeks from the date of death and prohibited indiscriminate burial of corpses within residential areas, mandating the designation of specific burial grounds in each village or hamlet. The monarch also highlighted exceptions for the burial of married women, allowing flexibility in certain circumstances to accommodate cultural considerations.
In addition to addressing cultural practices, the Idoma Area Traditional Council aims to eliminate practices that impose financial burdens on families during challenging times, fostering a more compassionate and inclusive approach to traditional customs.
The reforms underscore a commitment to preserving the cultural heritage of Idomaland while adapting to contemporary societal needs.
IMAGE: Daily post