The Matrimonial Oath of Fidelity among the Benin of Southern Nigeria

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Its Ethical Implications for Postcolonial Nigeria

The growth of a society is undoubtedly founded on unspoken mutual trust.

Man’s tendency to subvert the truth or reluctance to keeping his promises cannot also be ruled out of his imperfect nature.

The art of taking oaths has therefore been put in place since antiquity to strengthen man’s weak will to perform his ethical duty of keeping to his words.

This work reviews the ethical significance of traditional oath-taking in postcolonial Nigeria.

It emphasizes the strong belief in the retributive justice of traditional deities which fosters strict adherence to oaths among traditional African populace.

It observes also, that, many postcolonial Nigerian people undermine the obligation of keeping to solemn promises; even where their new found faiths stresses the virtue of truth telling.

It is on this note that this work takes a retrospective reflection of the Benin matrimonial oath of fidelity.

the work reaffirms that the oath of Fidelity helped the Benin forebears to promote sexual chastity, fidelity and conjugal well-being in their marriage.

The work goes on to propose an agenda for the re-enactment and observance of traditional moral values in modern African societies

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