Following moves to discourage couples from illegal cohabitation, the Catholic Bishop of Kontagora Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Bulus Dauwa Yohanna has over the weekend conducted a mass wedding for thirty couples in Agwarra local government area of Niger state.
Bishop Yohanna while joining the couples in holy matrimony at the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Agwarra local government area of Niger state, disclosed that, until couples are joined together in marriage legally both traditionally (through bride prize) and blessed in the church it is wrong for them to cohabit.
Accordingly, he said “for so many years, the people of Agwarra have been relying so much on traditional marriage which encourages them to more wives without even paying their bride prizes or doing the right thing.
“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 because, despite the years they cohabited, they have now paid the bride prizes of their wives”.
Bishop Yohanna while disclosing 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, he said marriage is a life time commitment which should be built on love and companionship.
In his remarks, the Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Okoro disclosed that the thirty couples completed their marriage traditional rites.
“They all paid their bride prizes and were subjected to three months marriage counselling which qualified them to be joined together in the church”, he added.
Expressing their joy, one of the couples, Shuaibu Brisallah and his wife, said “we have cohabited for several years and already have 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”.