Culture as we know defines a people's way of life. In Ogoni land, marriage practices defer based on backgrounds and tribes.
While most marriage practices in Ogoni are repugnant, others are inoffensive and enjoyable. Surprisingly, some tribes in Nigeria have the wrong perception that marriage in Ogoni is a deathtrap for females.
Ogoni is made up of six Kingdoms and their marriage institutions vary though share some similarities, even as there are differences based on compound and community traditions.
In some places in Ogoni, women are unable to get divorce because of some rules laid down by the husband's ancestors. Some women are liable to die or have their private part 'tampered' with if they in any way cheat on their husbands.
In some parts of Ogoni, a woman has the right to divorce her husband if she finds the environment unfavourable for her to stay. In this case, all she has to do is to return to the husband whatever was paid on her as bride price during marriage while the husband on the other hand, according to tradition would place his hand on the ground and touch her so she can have peace where she goes.
In the past, forefathers who where Pagans at the time committed their homes to different deities and placed some rules and regulations in their compounds which till today cannot be violated. For instance, there are families in Ogoni land where for fear of being struck dead by ancestors, a woman once married remain stuck with her husband even when her life is regularly threatened by the man. The woman can only be granted divorce if the husband willingly send her back to her people with the attendant rites performed by him.
During marriages, rules and regulations of the compound, community and tribe are being spelt out to the woman so that she won't fall victim of any law.
While so many homes in Ogoni allow their wives to remarry after her husband's death or seek divorce if she cannot continue with it, others frown at it as they believe a woman cannot divorce her husband, not for any reason.
However justifiable these practices may appear to be, my opinion is that such practices are anti-women and repugnant to natural justice because women seem to be the biggest loosers.
Women in Ogoni should be given the right to remarry if they find there matrimonial home unbearable to stay or if their husband dies.
In some homes where the husbands maltreats and beats up their wives, the woman should be granted divorce for safety than to stay in the house and may one day loose her life.
It is agreed marriage is a commitment but not in a situation where one's life is at stake. Elders should try to make rules that are acceptable and bearable for the women.
In situations where the woman is stuck in her husband's house due to fear of being struck dead by the ancestors, that woman is subjected to perpetual bondage. The tradition of women sticking permanently to their husband's no matter the risks involved is the height of injustice.
While should the women be punished while the men are granted freedom to do whatever they want. The God in heaven is a supreme being that treats everyone equal and punishes everyone same. Let’s discard the tradition of keeping women in bondage as these beliefs are mere superstitions.