Banning of tribal marks: Bill passes second reading at Nigerian Senate

Banning of tribal marks: Bill passes second reading at Nigerian Senate

Following the public outroar when the above picture of a newborn baby went viral in November 2016, the National Assembly has worked relentlessly to see that tribal marks on infants are banned by Nigerian constitution.

In that development the “Bill for an Act to provide for the Prohibition of Facial Mutilation, Offences, Prosecution and Punishment of Offenders” on Tuesday passed second reading in the Senate.

Kogi State senator Dino Melaye who sponsored the bill, rubbished folk beliefs that associated tribal mark bearers with having spiritual powers.

His words:

“The irony of these marks is that it makes victims subjects of mockery by friends. Imagine someone being called a tiger simply because of the thick cheeks resulting from facial marks.

“These people have been subjected to different reactions. Some have lamented the marks that are bequeathed on them as generational inheritance. Many have cursed the day which this dastardly act was performed on them.

“Many of the grown adults have confessed that the most terrific debacle of their lives is their tribal marks. Some have become eunuchs because of this stigma.

“Imagine a boy in the class of 25 pupils carrying a tribal mark. His mates will call him the boy with the railway line. They are emblems of disfiguration.

“Some of them have developed low self-esteem and most times treated with scorn and ridicule including rejection by the female folks.

“The reactions of people who interact with them say it dampens and lowers their spirit.”