Local government marriage registrars have disagreed with the decision of the ministry of interior on the function of marriage registration in the country.
The body insisted that only the LG councils have powers to register all types of marriages in the country as provided by the Nigerian constitution.
The federal government had introduced new marriage certificates and advised couples who do not have their certificates issued by the interior ministry to visit its website to re-certify them.
Georgina Ehuriah, permanent secretary of the ministry of interior, had also warned Nigerians to conduct marriages in places licensed by the ministry of interior in order to get registered in the national database of legally certified marriages and avoid a breach of the marriage act.
In a communique adopted from a national conference on Thursday at the Radio House in Abuja, Deji Sokeye, national president of body of marriage registrars, tackled the federal government for striping the LGs of its functions to register marriages.
“It is elementary knowledge that marriage matters are exclusive local government affairs in Nigeria and other parts of the world,” he said.
He said marriage registration is an exclusive function of LGs, as it is practised in US, Britain, Canada and other African countries.
Sokeye said worship centres and foreign embassies in the country should disregard the circular from the ministry of interior, adding that Nigeria will not be an exception in the area of marriage registrations.
“Nigeria got her independence from Great Britain and up till date, marriage matters remain exclusively matters for the boroughs which are the local governments in that country,” he said.
“In the US and Canada, marriage matters are handled by the counties which are the local governments. Same goes for African countries like Ghana, Gambia, Liberia and Benin, neighbouring West African countries to Nigeria; marriages are registered at the local level in these countries.
“It is on this wisdom that the Nigerian constitution empowers the local governments to register all types of marriages with no exception.”
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