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Religious leaders move to regulate marriage process

…Modifies premarital counselling class.

 by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

Religious leaders are considering modifications of pre-marital classes with a view to institute ‘important ingredients’ that would assist in reducing rampant cases of divorce in the society. Some have already completed the modification, a clergy said.

These assertions were made during dialogue and engagement session of religious and traditional leaders on preventing and responding to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), at the celebration of 16th days of activism of Zamani Foundation in Kaduna state.

The clergies, mostly Christian leaders, also canvassed for extension of courtship duration to, at least, six years period between couples before marriage, adding that doing so would enable both parties’ families to enquire and know more about themselves. 

Revered Solomon U. Hedima of House on The Rock Church said in an interview that blood group, genotype and other laboratory tests be carried out, and all questions and answers relating to couples and purposes of the marriage be asked and exhausted within the period of courtship by intending couples and their families.

Rev. Hedima, whose opinion was collaborated by Pastor John … Akor and one other Catholic Priests, noted that marriage project should not be seen as something one should jump into it, saying, “If you jump into marriage, you’ll likely jump out of it. Most couples only think and concern themselves about wedding instead of marriage life.”

The Christian leaders, who could not hide their feelings, conceded that there’s need for fiancées to ask all contending questions during relationship in form of character temperament, when one is financially broke, sex satisfaction (erection) among others, which they said constituted vast majority of problems mostly responsible for divorce and broken homes among couples, as held during marriage counseling.

Accordingly, father and mother’s roles and limitations as well as relationship between daughters and sons at certain age were analysed, and resolutions arrived that there should be limit in their relationship, especially father, daughters, brother and uncles.

Earlier, the organiser and founder of the Foundation, Mrs. Talatu Zamani, said working with SGBV over the years made her to realize that these issues have been of serious concern.

The founder said she decided to gather stakeholders like religious and traditional leaders, realizing that they’re very important and played major roles in resolving the problem, especially the rampant cases of divorce.

Mrs Zamani also said she noticed, with dismay, the rate of rape cases, defilement of children, domestic violence against women, divorce among other vices, were becoming alarming in the society and, therefore, decided to bring the stakeholders in dialogue session to discuss and find lasting solution to reduce, prevent and how to respond to the problems.

She stressed the need to look at the marriage counselling in the churches, noting that a lot of couples don’t undertake the counselling before the marriage proper is held. 

Issue of reviewing premarital counselling registrar to ensure that the grooms sign and undertake never to lay hands on the wife, no matter the offense; the aspect of anger was also discussed and accepted.

Some churches had already been reviewed and deal sealed and done, according some religious leaders, who said even though, some are out of biblical injunction, they were necessary to prevent domestic violence and divorcees.

On SGBV, Zamani commended the state for putting in place the castration law but, however, expressed surprise why nobody has been castrated since then.

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