Couples gather for a mass wedding at St. Joseph Catholic Church in the Agwara Local Government Area of Niger State on Sunday, November 19, 2023.
The Catholic Bishop of the Kontagora Diocese, Most Rev Dr Bulus Yohanna, on Sunday, conducted a mass wedding for 30 couples in the Agwara Local Government Area of Niger State.
Joining the couples in holy matrimony at the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Agwara, Bishop Yohanna disclosed that, until a couple is joined together in marriage legally, both traditionally by paying a bride price and being blessed in the church, it is wrong for them to cohabit.
He was speaking against a long traditional practice in the community that allows a man to cohabit with more than one woman without paying their bride price. He encouraged them to establish a family on a foundation that complies with religious and legal provisions.
The Parish Priest, Rev Fr Emmanuel Okoro, while disclosing that the 30 couples completed their marriage traditional rites, especially paying their bride prices, said they were subjected to three months’ marriage counseling which qualified them to be joined as husband and wife in the church.
Among the newlyweds were Shuaibu Bisallah and his wife, who expressed joy, saying they had cohabited for several years and birthed four children.
They, however, added that “we are happy now that we are officially married and I thank the Bishop for helping us realise the need to do the right thing”.