When on Thursday, May 6, 2010, then Acting President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was inaugurated as substantive President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, many well-meaning Nigerians were jubilant, hopeful and grateful. So overwhelming was the nature of celebrations that, for once in our history, the people perceived the inevitable emergence of a new Nigeria, where everyone, whether from Kuru, Ileja, Ngwa or Otueke would have a sense of belonging, self pride and true sense of integration.
The national funfair was indeed powered by the failure of intrigues and political manipulations by a few over ambitious politicians who shamelessly politicised the protracted ill-health of a Goodman, a team leader and Nigeria’s President, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to truncate a constitutional transition. Though Nigerians mourned, and rightly so, the passage May 5, 2010 of such rare humanist, they found in the emergence of his vice and tag-team partner a fresh opportunity to sustain the glowing legacy.
On that day, so overwhelmed, facilitator of the Red Rose Oasis of love foundation, Aunty Sarah Ngowari Dikibo, whose third album we are today gathered to celebrate, sent out the following SMS message to friends and followers: Breaking News. The Maker has done it again. Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has been sworn-in as President of Nigeria, with an Okrika Lady as First Lady. What is beyond the Most High! This, indeed, is history, made by the Hand of God. Am happy to see this day that ,confirms, Patience truly pays. Congratulations Niger Delta: Congratulations, Nigeria.
Aunty Sarah Dikibo’s joy was most understandable. In her last and second prophetic album, “A Canaan Mu-abe” (I am Enroute Canaan), the singer had predicted the breaking of chains that bound the Niger Delta in order to set the stage for a glorious political dawn. That was at a time when, Late Yar’ Adua was hail and hearty and no glaring suggestion that Dr. Jonathan would ever be President.
In that work, the singer had chronicled the pains, pranks and political strangulation of the Niger Delta which only rewards for being the hub of the hydro-carbon industry upon which Nigeria’s economic survival rests, were deprivation, avoidable deaths of men, women, children and productive youths, economic stagnation, environmental pollution, denial of political space and indeed outright marginalisation.
But, what years of political protest, informed protest, informed intellectual agitations and youth militancy could not achieve was in her view, made possible by a simple, but most marvelous divine fiat that eventually exalted the meek and lowly, defensless and weak, but productive and endowed, into relevance.
That divine intervention, the need to appreciate the Most High for His Eternal Love and Care, the challenge of making real meaning out of the same and building in all hearts fresh hope, a fresh dawn and thus a fresh beginning grounded in the constant realisation of God’s ever present Guarding Hand in the affairs of men, form the nucleus of Aunty Sarah Dikibo’s new album, “The Time Has Come ..• Goodluck Jonathan Is Divine Choice” – a prophecy fulfilled ..
It is above all else, a cursory rehash of the Niger Delta’s sad past, the divine intervention of the present and what hope that holds for a country that for years, took for granted that might is always right, majority alone can be right, and minority must at all times be minors in every national discourse for integration.
All songs are in both English and the Singer’s native tongue – Okrika and quite understandably, celebrates one of her own, Nigeria’s First Lady, Her Excellency, Dr. Patience Ibifaka Jonathan. In track after track, the singer’s sonorous voice of praise and divination runs through like fire and is complemented by scintillating trado-funk instrumentation. It is amply boosted by native water pot music and laced with a soul-moving trumpet at its best. Most tracks offer touching ministration underlining her rare spiritual calling and Christian background.
This 9-traker is, without doubt, a soothing departure from her mournful debut album ‘Afike’ (She’s not Dead), a soulful dirge in memory of her late mother and a near-perfect continuum to her second album – ‘A Canaan Mu-abe’; ‘Am enroute Canaan’. In the singer’s view, the political space today granted the once neglected Niger Delta, through the divine emergence of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan as President, epitomizes a prophetic triumphant entry into a political Canaan, only if one and all make their votes count behind the Jonathan candidacy.
“What can we (Niger Deltans) render unto the Lord for all His blessing towards us!” In our Neglected State we had nothing to offer except our own dehumanisation, neglect and deprivation which for years reduced us to helpless slaves. Is that really why we could no longer burst forth in joy? If not so, doesn’t the mysterious intervention that has positioned a minority of the minorities to pilot the affairs of governance, in the polity of our nation call for a Niger Delta Thanksgiving Day, in gratitude to His Great Omniscience? For the singer, it is that victory, standing in same consciousness, with joyful hearts and in gratitude to the Most High, and even more importantly overwhelmed by His Omnipotence and Omniscience, that the group offers its sounds of praise; as it sings the first track:
1. “Alpha and Omega, Creator Art Thou”
Truly, the Lord our God is Alpha and Omega who commands into being and makes impossibilities possible. Overwhelmed by the magnitude of the manifestation of His command in Nigeria, the ensemble trembles with awe and offers to exhalts Him in praise and worship. That same incomprehensibility of His ways informed the following track.
2. “Che Iba Boro Somi Deki?”
(What kind of pillar suspends the sky). The third (3) track calls on all to join in worship and glorify the Most high for His Marvelous work in Nigeria.
3. “Obalafamaye Miesa-e Ibuso 0 boma”
(He has done a marvelous thing join me and glorify him). Many might wonder what miracle that might be but the deliberate suspense created in the 3rd track is broken as the 4th track offers answers with a brief background to the Niger Delta struggle.
4. “In the History of Great Nigeria the Ijaw man was relegated”.
This track celebrates the region’s i1lustrous son and brother, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, whose current office as the number one citizen of Nigeria, in the views of the Victorious Trumpeters is History made by the hand of God. For that even Abuja joined in thanksgiving but while celebrating there, the Nigerians heard bomb blasts at Eagle Square, and later reports of container load of arms imported into the country. The Victorious Trumpeters therefore, wondered what could have led to such dangerous jokes in a community that should savour the sweet brotherhood of a new Nigeria. Who could they be after, could the choice of little David from the little town of Bethlehem, to occupy the seat of government be so intimidating to Saul that he is trying to throw Javelins at him again?
Come what may, the group sings in prayers for the protection of Mr. President in the Fifth (5th) track.
5. “Somi Temese Kiri-temebo Da Ogbein ye”
(Creator of Heaven and Earth, Father protect Him). Having handed over the life of Mr. President and his family into the protective wings of the Almighty, the group continues to celebrate the goodness of the Lord in their lives in the following song.
6. “Niger Delta O-wa boma me”
(Niger Delta, We are Blessed). While in this celebration the group realises that the time is indeed ripe for the proper election of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. But why? Within a brief period, some national maladies that seemed intractable were’ addressed. For instance, within a very brief stay Jonathan announced plans for a $3.5 billion national electricity grid, vigorously pursed women integration in governance through the appointment of two female opposition politicians from the North into his first cabinet on August 11, 2010, and on August 26, 2010, unveiled a multi-billion dollar strategy to end chronic power shortages. For once, the Igbos feel a sense of fulfillment with the appointment of their own to head the Army, vigorous education and health sector reforms and above all else defending the unity, corporate survival and hope for the future Nigeria of our dreams. Today, the long queues at filing stations are gone. Nigeria’s Aviation industry has earned Grade ‘A’ rating while, for once, there are strong signals that every vote will count. Little wonder, Nigerians are most expectant. For these and many other giant strides, the band attempts to rally votes for Jonathan convinced that his present incumbency was undoubtedly ordained, as they key in to the celestial clarion call in the title track.
7. “The time has come … Goodluck Jonathan is Divine Choice”.
This is the title track. “Already, we can hear all Nigerians say it must be Goodluck. Infact, no fewer than 40 political parties have already declared him there consensus candidate. This, to the group, is another history in the making and confirms public approval of his stay in power and to superintend the reigns of government: therefore, they amplify the views of the people that Dr. Jonathan be returned because he’s the people’s choice and do sing.
8. “We believe in you, lead us”
We believe in the current team of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and Architect Namadi Sambo. We believe in the motherly role of our beloved mother, Dame Dr. Patience Ibifaka Jonathan, a rare gem, motivator, a source of inspiration to many and importantly, a worthy daughter of Okrika. With these qualities, the group believes the fire of the Lord must have spoken to Dr. Jonathan to break the prison gates and set the captives free.
9. “Sofini Ani-okwein”
(Heavenly fire, it speaks). This is the ninth track. God’s Command to Jonathan is however unlike that to Moses who had to stand before a Pharaoh to demand the release of his kinsmen in bondage but more like David’s who is challenged by the sufferings of the region and indeed Nigeria and is set to tinker ways of building a new Nigeria where all will be proud of. So, Jonathan the group prays, should remember such deprivations and evolve a viable strategy to provide a new Jerusalem in their steads.
It is the singer’s belief that Jonathan’s election into office in April 2011, will wipe away Nigerians’ tears, wash off the blood of Niger Delta fallen heroes, spilled in our land, and give our children and generations unborn fresh hope, through positive changes they can see and feel.
HIV/AIDS, Covid-19: Challenges And Way Forward
Since the declaration of the Coronavirus, also known as Covid-19 as a pandemic in January 2020 by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the ailment has taken the front burner of medical interventions the world over. This has greatly relegated attention to the HIV/AIDS epidemic which had hitherto been a thorn in the flesh of the world, to the background. Subsequently, experts in various fora have categorically stated that Covid-19 has come to stay, just as its compatriot, HIV/AIDS.
The result is that virtually all forms of attention, including resources, have been shifted from HIV/AIDS intervention to Covid-19 since the outbreak of the virus, despite the fact that HIV/AIDS is still claiming lives globally.
Sad still, current evidence suggest that People Living With HIV(PLWHIV) have higher risk of becoming seriously ill from Covid-19, especially those of them who are not on treatment, or virtually suppressed, and may be at an even greater risk, according to the Project Manager, Rivers State Agency for the Control of AIDS (RIVSACA), Dr Naaziga Francis, in an interview.
Covid-19 is having a serious impact on the most vulnerable communities, not just in Nigeria, but globally, especially the hard-to-reach rural communities, and this may threaten the progress of work done on HIV and other health related ailments.
Experts say there is a fall in HIV testing, as well as patients with tuberculosis (TB) suspected to have HIV who are supposed to be referred to the next step of diagnosis and treatment. Malaria diagnosis as well as antenatal care visit has also declined.
Buttressing this, the Director, Cross River State SACA, Isere Obten, said, “ in terms of accessing HIV services, it is low, health workers are focusing on Covid-19, especially with the vaccine in place.
“In terms of resources, it’s been zero release (of funds) as most international donors are chanelling their funds to Covid-19″, he said.
Adding his voice, the Executive Director of Global Fund, Peter Sands, said, ‘’No country is immune to the spiraling economic costs of the (Covid 19) pandemic. Prolonged economic shocks leave deep scares, which have profound effects on people’s health in years to come”.
There’s little doubt that from the foregoing, this calls for concerted efforts from stakeholders within the HIV space to check the current trend of lesser attention to the epidemic.
Towards this end, the South-South Zonal Coordinator of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Dr. Uduak Daniel, during the just-concluded HIV Media Roundtable in Port- Harcourt, called on the media to be more strategic in reporting HIV issues.
“It will require them to be involved in the field at both the state and local government levels to propagate the activities of HIV/AIDS-related issues in order to curtail the contact and spread of the disease,” she said.
On his part, the Director, Public Enlightenment, Ministry of Information and Communications, Rivers State, Mr. Celestine Ogolo, who represented the State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, insisted that the media must continue with its role of agenda-setting in drawing attention to government on critical areas of need and reducing the high prevalence rate of HIV in the South-South zone.
“The media must not allow Covid-19 take off the shine of the work in HIV/AIDS”, he stated.
However, all of these efforts may come to naught if government at all levels does not take it upon itself to identify and support such efforts. This is why the Federal and State Governments, particularly, including donor agencies, as a matter of necessity, should make release of funds for effective HIV/AIDs response in Nigeria a priority.
For people living with HIV/AIDS, the authorities may need to ensure that they have, at least, a 30-day supply of ART in their homes. They could even have necessary drugs for up to six months to avoid exposure to COVID-19 during visits to health facilities.
The onus also lies on the implementing partners to continue with their interventions as part of their corporate social responsibility to society.
While this is being done for HIV/AIDS, there’s also the need to observe the protocols of regular washing of hands, wearing nose mask, and observance of social distancing as preventive measures to Covid-19.
Society should, indeed, still know and be concerned that HIV/AIDS is still in existence and claiming lives, hence practices capable of spreading the virus should be avoided.
Igbiks is of the Rivers State Ministry of Information and Communications.
By: Martha Igbiks
NUJ: Gleanings Of PH National Confab
Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, recently served as the host city for the Third National Conference of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
Declaring the two-day event open at the Obi Wali International Conference Centre, Port Harcourt, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, said he considered the theme of the Conference “The Media, Insecurity And National Unity” very apt in view of the perilous security challenges that have continued to plague the country unabated which he believed would address the issues of insecurity in Nigeria and positively impact on the nation’s unity.
Represented by his Deputy, Dr Ipalibo Harry Banigo, the Governor said that the country was threatened as a result of self-destructive tendencies like ethnic chauvinism, religious intolerance, brazen disregard for the rule of law and nepotism and that it appeared the Federal Government of Nigeria was fanning these embers of disunity through its perceived actions and inactions.
“For instance, how could we explain a situation where almost all the heads of security agencies as well as critical national institutions are headed by people from a particular ethnic nationality and religious faith in a country which prides itself as a secular state and believes in federal character when it comes to the appropriation of positions?” Wike wondered.
He urged journalists, who are said to constitute the Fourth Estate of the Realm, to brainstorm and come up with a workable solution to save the country from imminent collapse.
NUJ President, Chief Chris Isiguzo, while speaking, called on journalists in Nigeria to avoid allowing politicians to dictate news angles for them. He also spoke on the theme: ‘The Media, Insecurity And National Unity’ at the event which held from June 7th – 8th, 2021.
Isiguzo added that it is unethical for journalists to allow politicians take over their responsibilities and dictate media content at the expense of public interest. He warned journalists to de-escalate news capable of causing fear and panic, especially now that the country is facing the challenge of insecurity.
In one of the other presentations at the conference, the Head of Mass Communication Department, Renaissance University, Enugu, Dr Maxwell Ngene, urged the Federal Government to ensure that the Freedom of Information Act is domesticated and implemented in all states of the federation as a matter of necessity, so as to instill accountability in government.
Speaking on ‘Maintaining Peace in Turbulent Times: The Role Of The Media in Security and Unity of Nigeria’, Ngene, advocated that codes of conduct in journalism practice should be encouraged as well as development of a regulatory framework that would enhance media’s role in national unity and security, while adding that there should also be strict observance of high professional standards of ethics.
Also speaking on Media and National Security, Alhaji Muktar Sirajo stressed that there must be ethical re-orientation in media practice, genuine and inclusive fight against corruption, pervasive unemployment and poverty, and addressing the issues of ethno-religious, political and economic-based violence, with robust improvement in national security architecture to stem the tide of terrorism and insecurity in the country.
Alhaji Muktar urged media on its part to place national interest above any parochial interest in disseminating information to the public. He enjoined the mass media to avoid the temptation of over- escalating negative news, but rather focus more on escalating positive news in other to calm the tension arising from the insecurity challenge being faced in the country.
In another presentation on the same topic, Richard Akinnola, explained that press freedom is about freedom of expression, which in itself is a fundamental right in the world, without which genuine democracy cannot thrive. He encouraged journalists never to disclose their source of information no matter the cost, noting that they must maintain their sources of information in order not to betray the trust and confidentiality of their new source.
Also as part of the event, delegates undertook a tour of the new Flyover bridges to have a feel of some of the new edifices being put in place by His Excellency, Governor Nyesom Wike. The first visited was the Okoro-Nu-Odo Flyover with a length of 880 metre. The second visited was the Rumuogba 1&2 Flyover which we were told is the longest of all with 1.24km length. Others were the Rumuola, GRA Junction, Rebisi, and Oro-Abali flyovers. It was gathered that three of the flyovers were constructed at the same time and delivered less than one year.
It is worthy to note that the NUJ Vice President Zone D, Chief Wilson Bako, led the Team Flyover and the Rivers State Press Officer, Ministry of Works, Paul Bazia, sensitised the delegates on the Wike-led administration’s projects recorded thus far.
It was also observed that delegates commended the numerous quality infrastructural projects executed by Governor Wike, while calling on other governors in the country to emulate his leadership prowess.
Meanwhile, everything that has a beginning has an end as the two-day event came up with a 17-Point communique drafted by the Drafting Committee members; namely Amos Dunia, Ifeyinwa Omowole and Emma Couson and signed by the National Secretaries, Shuaibu Usman Leman and Walin Shadalafiya, on June 8th, 2021, in the presence of key media houses and civil society organisations (CSOs).
The confab adopted the following resolutions as panacea to the myriad of security, political and ethno-religious crises currently facing the country.
- Taking into cognisance that the primary responsibility of government is to protect lives and property of citizens, against the backdrop of prevailing situations that government is overwhelmed and unable to effectively carry out this onerous responsibility, the conference urges citizens to assist in community mobilisation as a way of addressing insecurity and notes that it will be disastrous to allow citizens to lose confidence in the ability of government to deal with the situation.
- The conference also did retrospection on the role of journalists with regard to their core mandate of informing, educating and holding government and leaders accountable. Conference notes that the media has played an active role in their propagation and proliferation by promoting their different names and titles and serving as a vehicle for their messages.
*It also notes that more is required of practitioners as watchdogs of the society, particularly at this trying period in which a balanced reportage is more than ever before desired.
- The Nigeria Union of Journalists takes note of the responsibility of the state to guarantee safety of lives and property, to protect the economy and economic resource areas, critical infrastructure, environment, including forest reserves and national assets.
- The government should, in enforcing security policies, carry stakeholders at all levels of governance along and ensure good governance.
- The Media should mediate with its distinct role of being between the governed and the rulers, particularly in situation of existential threats. The Union urges its members to prioritise mediation in the prevailing tension that pervades all geo-political zones and the threats to Nigeria’s unity.
*The Conference urges media practitioners to exercise caution in their reportage and analysis of unfolding events as well as play the role of a mediator between contending forces and actors.
*The media should be a partner in de-escalating tension instead of being a party to the conflict.
*As for the controversy generated by the suspension of the micro-blogging platform – Twitter, the Union notes the widespread use of its resourcefulness in promoting dialogue, individual expression and commerce. The Union, therefore, solicits for caution on all sides.
- In view of the challenges impacting on press freedom, freedom of expression, the Union will establish a Special Press Freedom Monitoring and Defence Committee.
- The Conference, as part of innovation being injected into the NUJ, an ‘NUJ HALL OF FAME’ was launched. It is in view of this that the Conference resolves that the HALL OF FAME shall be instituted to accord due recognition to deserving public office holders, technocrats, journalists and other deserving members of the society, who have distinguished themselves in their chosen fields. In this wise, His Excellency, the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, became the first inductee of the HALL OF FAME.
*The Conference stresses the need for adherence to the rights of the people to freely express themselves and comment on the affairs of state and conduct of government as an intrinsic part of democracy that demands accountability of rulers and public officers to the citizenry.
*Conference notes that a factor we cannot ignore is the fact that Nigeria is a country that fought a civil war. Those who were active players in the war, from children that were born after the war to those who experienced the war, have not gotten a closure.
*Stakeholders call on the NUJ to lead the national voice for healing the actors of the Nigerian Civil War still alive, to engage and dialogue on issues that bind them as well as commit to ensuring that past events are put behind them and all find closure.
- Conference also notes that #EndSARS was just a ventilation of bottled-up anger, dissatisfaction and discontent with the elites.
Conference notes that more than 60 years after Independence, it is still battling with ‘State of Origin’ in our National Data Collection System taking into cognisance that ethnicity and tribe played a negative role in the cause of the RWANDAN war. . Participants commend His Excellency, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State for hosting the Conference and thank the people of the State for the warm reception.
By: Susan Serekara-Nwikhana
Should Daughters Inherit Father’s Property?
Recently, a court in one of the southern states nullified the practice of denying female children the right to inherit their father’s property. The ruling confirms that the female child can inherit her father’s property. It is good but how the message is going to be sent to the villages at the grassroots calls for concern.
This issue of women inheriting directly from their lineage is supposed to be translated to the rural areas. This will give them a sense of belonging.
One thing is for the government or a competent court to make and interpret such law, another is for kinsmen to obey and allow the female children inherit their father’s wealth.
There are those who hold tightly to the cultural practice that females should not inherit their father’s property because, according to them, women get married out. Some people have vowed not to, feeling that if a daughter partakes in the share of her father’s property, she will take the proceeds to her husband’s house. Even as educated as some persons are, and having attained certain levels in the society, they still hold to the opinion.They claim that it is African culture. In some rural areas they don’t bother whether such laws are in existence and view it as imported.
Another group say there is nothing wrong in that since the woman came from such lineage. For them, such idea is primitive and archaic in this 21st century.
A legal practitioner, Chidi Enyie explained that every female child has a right of inheritance.
Citing Section 42 Sub 1&2 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, he said that every person has a right to freedom from discrimination.
He said that was invoked in Ukoje Vs Ukoje (2020) where the Supreme Court came to a judgement that no person by reason of sex shall be discriminated against by reason of sex from inheriting the property of the parents. The same way the males are entitled to inheritance, that’s the same females are entitled.
According to Barr. Enyie, the issue of sharing inheritance comes into play when a deceased parent dies intestate, that is dying without a Will, but if it is when there is a Will, it means the deceased person has done the sharing of the property in the Will.
“In most cases, it happens when there is a Will. In our custom in Nigeria, they tend to favour the male child, but the Supreme Court judgement remains the name unless it is reversed in later decisions”, he said.
His words: “As it is, the barrier of discrimination has been nullified. Both male and female can inherit. Even if she dies, her children are supposed to continue the ownership of the property, they are supposed to inherit their mum. It can continue to run from generation to generation in that lineage”.
He pointed out that it depends largely on the type of marriage as sometimes in a customary marriage, the custom of the people will apply so long as the custom is not repugnant to national justice, equity and God conscience, then the custom will apply.
But in a Statutory marriage, Esien vs Esien (1934), he said that the Supreme Court came out with a decision that if it is the biological father of the child and not the customary father of the child.
“But ignorance on the part of the society tries to hamper the execution of the judgement of the Supreme Court”, he insisted.
He maintained that the judgement of Ukeje vs Ukeje is being criticised by the Ibo tribe that it wants to nullify their customs stressing that it should not prescribe what their custom should be.
He advocated that women should remain vibrant and contend for their right until awareness is created about the equality of both sex.
A pharmacist, Mr. Edet Okong, said such issue is prevalent in Nigeria because of poverty and illiteracy while it is not practised in other countries.
He noted that women have a share in his family whenever they are sharing things.
He asked: “Is it not somebody from that family that gave birth to the woman?”
A legal practitioner, Mr. Ejike Uboh, noted that the issue of inheritance has to be handled by the court.
He said that NGOs need to carry out a lot of campaigns to the rural areas to be able to change the mindset of people who still hold into such cultural practice.
Uboh said that females inheriting their father’s property is good and traceable to the Holy scripture and called on FIDA and traditional rulers who are the embodiment of customs to sensitise people, giving reasons why such practice should stop.
A mechanic, Nude Ikegwuru, insisted that it is impossible for a daughter to inherit her father’s property and argued that women are exempted from paying levies in some communities and so should not.
He made reference to the Aba women riot of 1929 which prevents women from paying tax in Nigeria.
A businessman, Gold Ibokwe, said that such laws and decision by the government should be taken seriously as time goes on.
According to a medical laboratory scientist, Ebere Nduidi, “when a woman is not married, she should have right to any property in her father’s home but when she gets married, I don’t think that is necessary.”
He emphasised that when a woman gets married, she changes her name and start answering her husband’s name, becomes somebody’s wife and so should not as she has been legally married.
Although he argued that the daughter can if it is her biological father’s property and not a general family case and insisted that if she gets the property before the death of the father, she should not return it.
“Fathers have the right to Will properties to their daughters if they want. They have equal opportunity as the male children”, he opined.
An entrepreneur, Davies Peter, said a woman can inherit her father’s property while she is alive and after her lifetime, the property should be released to the family.
According to him, since she bears the name of another family, the children shouldn’t continue the inheritance.
He advised that natural justice has to take its course instead of imported law while the laws be properly looked into and maintained that there should be some exception to the interpretation of some of the law as regards Nigeria and Africa generally.
He said although some of the laws are treated based on the fact that women are referred to as the weaker sex and they try to wave certain things.
He cautioned that people should not bring what is impracticable into existence and argued that male and female are not equal.
Mr. Kayode Ojo, an Architect asked: “Don’t you think that when you give a woman land in her father’s house, another one in her husband’s house, it will be too much?
“ A man and a woman is a family, the husband and the children, so she should inherit in her husband’s house”, he noted.
Although the law supersedes tradition, he said, but that is if he wants to give the land to his daughter, at the end of the day, it is her own and insisted that tradition cannot prove the law wrong.
A pharmacist, Mary Udoh, said that fathers should be sensitised about writing Wills before death, so that if a property is bequeathed to whether a female or male, nobody under the law can take it away from such child.
An engineer, Emeka Obi, said what one may call cultural barriers and taboos is a common problem in Nigeria.
As he puts it: “People’s customs and traditions are peculiar to those who practice them. If according to the way of life of a given people, their daughters don’t have a place in the family inheritance, so be it, but if out of love or goodluck, a father Wills a property to any of his daughters, I have no problem with that”.
A nurse, Mary Uche, in her own view said: “ This is a welcome development. We are more of girls in my house than boys. “Could you believe that we lost our Dad, we the girls buried him but the boys took all the properties. And even if a woman dies, all her properties will be given to the sons’ wives. The only things given to the girls are clothes, if you demand more, they will tell you to go and inherit your husband’s house. If you are single, they will tell you to go and marry”.
The consequence of denying the female child the right of inheritance of father’s property is that if it comes to a situation where she is expected to contribute to family pressures, definitely she will withdraw.
I’m not sure that any property can be too much to be owned by a woman. If she has properties both in her father’s house and husband’s home, better for the children; after all, they were not stolen but inherited from grandparents.
Religious leaders should preach more to the populace on improving the lives of people in the society.
Traditional rulers, NGOs should continually have dialogue and pass the messages down to the grassroots and perhaps to those in the urban centers no matter how learned and their level of exposure.
By: Eunice Choko-Kayode
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