A Bill for an Act to Prohibit Tribal Marks, Offences, Prosecution and Punishment of Offenders on Tuesday passed second reading in the Senate.
The Bill is also for the Protection of victims under threat of facial mutilation and other related Matters. Sen. Dino Melaye (APC-Kogi), who sponsored the bill, said that there was no doubt that Africans of old used tribal marks as a means of proper identification.
Leading debate on the bill, Melaye said in those days, members of the same village, tribe or lineage had the same tribal marks. Melaye said that the hometown and lineage of a child or anyone with tribal marks were immediately identified, while outsiders who did not have such marks were also spotted.
He further explained that parents also used tribal marks to lay credence to the legitimacy of their children. However, the lawmaker said “all these reasons cannot be scientifically proven, and hence cannot enjoy the support for this harmful practice’’.
“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.