Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state has signed a new law that strengthens the inheritance rights of women.
Despite a Supreme Court decision, many cultures and communities in the nation still forbid women from inheriting property. Men are more likely to inherit wealth in order to preserve family prosperity.
This is due to the widespread belief that if a woman marries, her husband’s family becomes her new family and she no longer belongs to her father’s.
The practice, however, leaves many women in poverty.
Women in Rivers State are explicitly given the right to inherit, and they are not barred from challenging the family in court.
Governor Nyesom Wike urged women to assert their rights after signing the legislation, saying they shouldn’t be concerned about being threatened by their families.
He also questioned why women weren’t allowed to share in the family’s legacy, given that they are frequently the most beneficial citizens.
“I don’t know why it’s a taboo; because you’re a girl, because this is a woman, you’re not entitled to inherit what belongs to your father,” he said.
“It is not you who decides whether you will have a girl or you’ll have a boy. It is God.”