The Catholic Bishop of Kontagora Diocese, Most Rev . Dr. Bulus Dauwa Yohanna has conducted a mass wedding for thirty couples in Niger state.
While joining the couples in holy matrimony at the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Agwara local government area of the state, Bishop Yohanna disclosed that, until a couple is joined together in marriage legally both traditionally (through bride price) and blessed in the church it is wrong for them to cohabit.
According to him “the people of Agwara rely more on traditional marriage which encourages them to cohabit with more than one wife without paying their bride prizes.
“We have to encourage them to do what is right especially as Catholics. With this blessing of marriage, these 30 (thirty) couples are now legally and officially married”.
The Cleric, while noting that, marriage is meant for the prepared adults, said “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”.
Furthermore, the Bishop said, “marriage is a life time commitment which should be built on love and companionship”.
The Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Okoro in his remarks, said that the 30(thirty) couples completed their marriage traditional rites especially paying their bride prices, emphasized that they were subjected to three months marriage counselling which qualified them to be joined in the church.
One of the couples, Shuaibu Brisallah and his wife expressed their joy, saying, they have cohabited for several years with four children.
“We are happy now that we are officially married and I thank the Bishop for helping us realize the need to do the right thing,” they maintained.