The Catholic Bishop of Kontagora Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Bulus Dauwa Yohanna, has conducted a mass wedding for no fewer than 30 couples in Niger State.
Rev. Yohanna, who joined the couples in holy matrimony at the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Agwarra Local Government Area of Niger State, said until a couple is legally joined together in marriage, traditionally (through payment of the bride price) and blessed in the church, it is wrong for them to cohabit.
He noted that the people of Agwarra rely mostly on traditional marriage, which encourages them to cohabit with more than one wife without paying their bride price.
According to him: “We have to encourage them to do what is right, especially as Catholics. With this blessing of marriage, these thirty couples are now legally and officially married.
“Marriage is meant for prepared adults. Some people refer to their marriages as dead while still alive due to lingering issues that are not tackled on time, thereby causing couples not to talk to one another even while living in the same apartment.”
Earlier, the parish priest, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Okoro, revealed that 30 couples completed their marriage traditional rites, particularly paying their bride prices, adding: “They were subjected to three months of marriage counselling, which qualified them to be joined in the church.”
Shuaibu Brisallah and his wife, who were among those who were joined in holy matrimony, expressed their joy at finally being officially married.
According to them, they had cohabited for many years with four children.
“Now, we are happy that we are officially married and we thank the bishop for helping us realise the need to do the right thing,” they said.