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Choosing A Life Partner

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It is usually said that the
three most important events in a man’s life are his  birth, marriage and death. Of these, while he   has no control over birth, he may, if willing, exercise a considerable control over marriage and has little control over death. In all, nature is often allowed to take its course with little thought of consequences.
Many young persons have always asked, “which kind or manner of woman or man will I marry and how will I know who is my wife or husband? The answer is usually, when the time comes, the will of God shall prevail. Thus young people are encouraged not  to place undue emphasis on emotional factors and  neglect the exercise of sane judgment.
Knowing who to marry manifests when you really fall in love with someone. One may again ask, what is this love into which a person is said to “fall”? Is it something supernatural, predetermined, canal, platonic or infallible? It is not mysterious but simply a state of emotional exhilaration which has been stimulated by social and physical appeal. Falling in love is a pleasant experience and a couple in love seek each other’s approval.
They avoid the mention of unpleasant circumstances, try to make favourable impressions and they are on their good behaviour. A couple with the intention to marry spend their time in recreation rather than in work. Their thoughts run to the future rather than to the realities of the cost and the present.
During courtship, a couple do not always place emphasis on those traits that are most significant in determining eventual happiness in marriage, although occasionally, one person will observe undesirable characteristics in the other. Usually the thrill of being in love prompts the false assumption that marriage is a miraculous procedure by which all the undesirable traits will be eliminated. Young people usually think or hope that there will be the perfect marriage and that they will live happily forever after but once married, they begin to assume the obligations to address themselves to work while taking life as it comes.
Before marriage, a would  be couple must investigate those qualities which are known to have a bearing on the   marriage to act wisely in his or her choice of mate.
Successful marriage implies more than just a pleasant honeymoon but a matter of “till death do us part,” and the final criterion on which a marriage must be judged.
Marital happiness is a measurable reality and is anchored on several basis which include agreement in matters of finance, their choices of friends, their selection of recreation, their philosophies of life, they have kindred interests and activities, have no regrets regarding their marriage and they do not resort to persistent complaints regarding each other’s shortcomings.
There are several reasons teenage marriages are undesirable. For instance, financial security is seldom established during the teens, so a very young couple must either continue under the parental care or struggle against such hardships as may cause them to regret the matrimonial venture. Under ideal circumstances, marriage should carry with it an awareness of independence as husband and wife cannot develop a proper regard for their home when premature marriage prevents their being able to control their own affairs.
Social research has proved that the highest percentage of happy marriages result when the groom is not less than 24 and the bride not less than 22 years of age. However, in the Nigerian system, these are arbitrary figures, but they represent average ages at which it may be assumed that personalities have reached that stage of maturity which is favourable to successful marriage.
Marriage involves a mutual agreement and genuine happiness depends as much on the husband as on the wife. This is why a woman is free to choose her husband as well as the man. Convention, however, requires that a young woman waits to be invited but it is not imperative that she must accept the first offer that is extended to her. The woman’s lifestyle as well as her accomplishments and culture may determine the number and quality of invitations she receives from a young man of high ideals if she meanwhile encourages flirtation from someone whose standards are inferior.
Many young people resent their parents’ insistence on being consulted regarding their special friendships. They fail to realise that parents have a just basis for being concerned in the future of their sons and daughters, and for realising that matrimony is a most important step in life.
Having the advantage of longer experience and broader perspective, parents desire to protect their children from the consequences of rash decisions.
Christian young people should give respectful considerations to the counsel of godly parents regarding their choice of special friends. Not only is the judgment of parents more mature and more conservative and safer, but the parents may be trusted to derive their intents from a sincere effort to spare their son or daughter from the mishaps of life.
Bearing in mind that young people will be dealing with their parents for the rest of their parents lives, they must take reasonable precaution in matters of choosing a husband or wife. Failing to do this may make the relationship between the parents and the newly chosen partner be unpleasant. When it comes to choosing a life partner, husband or wife, young people should not feel that they have arrived at adulthood and therefore, should make their choices without consulting the parents. They should not feel that it is their own home that will be established and not that of their parents.
Some prospective couples may even feel that they are in a position to avoid certain mistakes made by their parents when establishing their home. Such an attitude of independence and egotism is usually evident enough that the young persons have not yet reached that maturity which gives them an impartial perspective.
Religious affiliation is an important consideration for those contemplating marriage. Those who belong to the same church have been reared in similar surroundings and this similarity of background, as well as the common bond of religious faith, tends to simplify the adjustment to married life and to provide an assurance of continued harmony. Membership in different churches is a serious threat to marital happiness as there are some churches which require their members to keep away from “unbelieving” husband or wife.
A couple in the same church will promise not to oppose their religious exercises and will encourage and permit their children to be reared in harmony with the stated religion. Such requirements tend to force the spouses into a definite compromise. It is difficult for happiness to exist in a home where one member is expected to conform to regulations with which he is not in harmony.
The scripture is clear in this admonition as it says: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness and what communion hath light with darkness?” (2Corinthians 6:14).

 

Shedie Okpara

Kids in a ballet session

Kids in a ballet session

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Women

Ondo Women Protest Half-Naked Over Insecurity

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Hundreds of women across four local government areas in Ondo State on Saturday protested against worsening security challenges in the area.
The women, who took to the streets of Oka Akoko, Akungba Akoko and some other Akoko towns, demanded improved security from the state and federal government.
Recent spate of insecurity in the area include abduction of teachers by gunmen in Auga Akoko, the killing of a police officer at Oka Akoko last week, and the attack on 17 travellers on Ifira Akoko-Isua Akoko road by armed robbers among others.
Some of the protesters, who held brooms, were half-naked and chanting various solidarity songs along the streets.
Recall that Amotekun Corps also arrested no fewer than 17 suspected bandits from the North-West of Nigeria when they stormed Okitipupa area of the state.
The suspected criminals were found with dogs, cutlasses and charms as they wandered in the area without purpose.
It was the distress call by residents of the community to Amotekun operatives that led to their arrest.

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Women

Civil Society Calls For Laws To Harmonise NGOs’ Activities

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Some Rivers Civil society organisation under the aegis of Rivers network of NGO’s (RINNGOS) is calling on state governments in the country to come up with rules and regulations to harmonise and coordinate civil societies’ registrations for optimum performances.
This was part of the resolutions at a network Dialogue /Consultation with the theme “Strengthening State Civil Society Networks/Coalitions to Harmonise Regulatory Frameworks at the Sub-National Level”, sponsored by the European Union (EU) British Council and the Nigerian Network of NGOs.
The group also planned advocacy visits to ministries, departments and agencies in Rivers State with the view to canvassing for laws that will harmonise civil society organisations registrations in Rivers State.
According to a programme profile made available to newsmen at the programme, the objectives of the project include: raising awareness and supporting sub-national networking/coalitions of CSOs in European Union (EU) Focal States to collect and review existing frame work in their respective states to identify the gaps and opportunities for better harmonisation and coordination of CSO registration and regulations at the sub national level.
It also seeks to engage stakeholders to improve responsiveness between states ministries, departments and agencies and sub-national CSOs on the need for a harmonised regulatory framework.
It noted that the organisation aims to work in various areas such as: HIV/Aids, environmental protection, malaria, women affairs and others.
Declaring the event opened, the chairperson of Rivers Network of NGOs, Mrs Mina Ogbanga, said the event was to equip participants with the skills for advocacy.
Ogbanga said the task of changing the society is a collective one, adding that the Rivers Network of NGOs will work with every interest group to achieve success.
She said that the donor agencies were ready to fund participants to carry out projects in their respective communities.
High point of the event was the inauguration of four groups charged with the responsibility of embarking on advocacy visits to various ministries, departments and agencies in the states.

By: John Bibor & Oribim Ibama

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Women

Women And Harmful Practices

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The bill for prohibition of harmful practices against women at the National Assembly is a welcome development.
Severally, there have been talks, seminars, workshops, fora, arguments, bills and laws abolishing issues that concern women, especially violence.  But a lot has not been achieved to curtail the menace.
Violence against girls and women has been on the increase.  From time to time, it is either girls are denied access to father’s property or a widow is denied inheritance to husband’s properties.  Even when laws are put in place about things that will help women have their rights, some persons feel that culture and tradition do not permit.
We are aware that some women are rich and may not want to partake in the share of their late parents’ property, but there are vulnerable ones who need to be empowered, through perhaps, late parents’ property inheritance.
Some of the obnoxious laws were made before now without the consent of women. There was no representative to either argue for or against so as to be beneficial to women generally.  Some of the laws were so primitive that even when civilisation came, became difficult to change. Very unfortunately, it is the women that execute the laws made by men in their absence. Women are suffering it.
If the bill abolishing certain practices against women and girls will be passed into law by the National Assembly, it will be better for them.  For long, laws against female genital mutilation and circumcision have existed but some communities with their culture and tradition have refused to put a stop to it with reasons best known to them.
Circumcision of a full-grown girl or lady may not be the only way of attaining maturity. It is a harmful practice and the pain associated with it cannot be imagined.  This illegal operation is not performed in the hospital so the dangers inherent will be much.
For those who still practice it, the menace should be discouraged as that is not a proper way of ushering a girl into womanhood. A lot of women lose their lives due to pains experienced during the process. it was practised in the past when civilisation was not there, it is a different case, nowadays with science and technology proving it wrong, those who still practise not should resist.
It is a right step in the right direction and it is time the National Assembly and all stakeholders intensified efforts in dealing with persons who perpetuate evil against their fellow women.
If the bill will be passed into law by the National Assembly, it is welcome but the fear that comes to mind is implementation.  The issue has been dwelt on for decades, but it is still practised as big ceremonies in some communities.
When it comes to inheritance, a girl born into a family, married or unmarried will be denied access to father’s property but if it has to do with the demise of parents or sickness, the woman and the husband will be mandated to provide a cow for the burial rites or offset medical bills.
If the National Assembly makes laws concerning the well-being of women, community heads, molecular leaders, women groups and associations, religious organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations NGOs and civil society organisations (CSOs) should create more awareness through the media to sensitise rural dwellers.
In this digital era, it should be forbidden that a woman loses her spouse and she is mandated to drink water used on the late husband.
The items in the bill to be passed into law by the National Assembly are in order as it concerns women.
A legal practitioner,  Tam Jacobs, said if one forcefully shaves a woman’s hair with the intention that she is mourning her late spouse, she can sue that person for assault.
He said if the woman is forced to drink water used on her late husband’s body, she can also sue for attempted murder.
According to him, several cases of girl-child inheritance have been won and documented in the law court but some cannot claim it.
“Even a widow who is handicapped may not be able to make attempts so NGOs, CSOs should be in the forefront to support them and ensure that the laws are implemented at the grassroots level where they are practised”, he said.
A pharmacist, Eno Amos said any culture that does not add colour and value to life should be abolished.
She added that implementation can be easy in the cities where awareness has been created but expressed fear that it may not be easy in the rural areas where culture is really practised.
A business woman, Agnes Ugwu, said tradition and culture were made by man and not God and wondered why people who claim to be educated still follow the tradition of ancestors who never went to school.
Ignorance also comes to play here.  If you have watched a documentary showing female genital mutilation and the gory experience the young women go through, is something else.  Some of the perpetrators claim that the practice has existed for ages. Women have to learn more about issues that concern them.
A nurse, Rosy Ekeocha, said it is not about culture but about the behavior of a group of people in the community who force it on others.
According to her, let people change their behaviour and leave culture alone.  It doesn’t happen in every family and if any family allows it that’s their business.
She said we are in the 21st century, certain culture and tradition need to be reviewed to ensure that they allign with today’s reality.
Culture is dynamic she said, but that implementation of laws relating to the vulnerable in the society calls for concern.
We should not behave the way people behaved five dacades ago, after all, we do not dress the way our forefathers dressed.  Time has evolved and things are getting better as it concerns women. We are getting more exposed and more enlightened about issues that concern is.  Information is moving round as the world is a global village.
Talking about culture nowadays, we wear shoes whereas our forefathers never had any.  They walked barefooted
far distances to get family necessities but things are better now as we are mobile.
That should also happen to culture and tradition.  There are certain aspects of our culture and tradition which are practised today that have expired long ago. We should get rid off them.
It is expected that the bills abolishing obnoxious practices against women and girls in the society will achieve expected results when passed into law at the floor of the House.

By: Eunice Choko-Kayode

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