Photo Credit: Africanews
This barbaric act must stop. National Identity card is enough to identify where individuals come from. Support my bill to stop this …. pic.twitter.com/3He9PEKCER
— Senator Dino Melaye (@dino_melaye) November 13, 2016
This is the tweet of Nigerian Senator Dino Melaye which was accompanied by a picture of a baby with four long unhealed tribal mark cuts stretching from the head to the left cheek and another diagonal cut from the baby’s nose to the cheek.
The Kogi West senator is strongly against the use of tribal marks to identify people and proposes the introduction of a national identity card as an alternative.
Many prominent Nigerians have tribal marks including former President Olusegun Obasanjo, traditional ruler Lamidi Adeyemi III, Governor Ayo Fayose, traditional ruler Adegboyega Dosunmu Amororo II, and former Chief Justice Salihu Moddibo Alfa Belgore.
Tribal marks are deeply rooted in Africa’s history. They are used for identification purposes as well as for beauty and medicinal purposes.
The marks are usually inscribed, burned or cut on children’s bodies or faces.
The practice has been widely condemned in Nigeria recently as there is a countrywide petition to ban the act.
Some states have however outlawed the practice including the Osun State government which has introduced a law banning the act of “tattooing or skin marking on children”.