Nyesom Wike, Governor of Nigeria’s oil-rich Rivers State on Thursday ended the denial of women inheritance prevalent among cultures and traditions in the state, as he signed into law three new bills passed by the State House of Assembly.
The bill signed into law by Wike at the Government House, Port Harcourt, include: the Rivers State Prohibition of the Curtailment of Women’s Right to Share in Family Property Law No. 2 of 2022 along with the Rivers Compulsory Treatment and Care of Victims of Gunshots Law No. 3 of 2022, and the Rivers Pension Reform (amendment) Law No. 4 of 2022.
While explaining the significance of the new state laws, the Governor said he couldn’t comprehend why it is considered a taboo in many parts of Rivers for female children not to share in family inheritance.
“Because you’re a girl, you’re a woman; you’re not entitled to inherit what belongs to your father. It is not you who decides having a girl or a boy. It is God. So, put yourself in their shoes today where, by God’s mercy you have three children, all girls and you struggle in life to see what you can keep for them.
“Tomorrow, one of their uncles comes, and says, my friend, girls don’t inherit their father’s property. With all your efforts in life, somebody comes to discriminate against them, why?
“We have even found out that women are more useful to us than even the men. The day you’re getting old and dying you’ll know that you need more daughters than men. They will leave their husbands’ houses and come to take care of you,” he said.
Wike asserted that the law is important to the development of the state as it will enable people actualise their potentials and women allowed by law to inherit their entitlements, urging the women to henceforth stand up for their rights and challenge any discrimination against them in court, armed with the new law.