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Senator Dino Melaye to Sponsor Anti-Tribal Mark Bill following Viral Photo of Toddler with Fresh Tribal Marks



Over the weekend, a photo of a toddler with fresh tribal marks went viral on social media.

Following the news, Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye posted on his Twitter handle that he will be sponsoring a bill to stop tribal marks, adding that National Identity Card is enough to identify where an individual is from.

“This barbaric act must stop. National Identity card is enough to identify where individuals come from. Support my bill to stop this,” he wrote.


He tweet gathered lots of support from Twitter users:

dino-melaye-tribal-mark-bill-reactions dino-melaye-tribal-mark-bill-reactions2 dino-melaye-tribal-mark-bill-reactions3


  1. shior

    November 14, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    this child is scarred for life. i cant even look at him cos am hurt for him

  2. Nene

    November 14, 2016 at 12:25 pm


    • EC

      November 14, 2016 at 1:58 pm

      And what is so funny?

    • Marlvina

      November 14, 2016 at 2:39 pm

      OMG! I presume the person who did this is a learner. This is inhumane!!

  3. EE

    November 14, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    See I love Nigerians, but gosh you people can be stupid.

    Tribal marks are an important cultural indicator, sort of like I dunno male circumcision.

    Will these same Nigerians agree to an anti circumcision bill??? After all to circumcise a child, you cut their foreskin without their consent, significantly reducing their sexual pleasure in adult life and endangering their future reproduction.

    I’m willing to bet circumcision is more painful than tribal markings and that the image of a newly circumcised penis is more gruesome than the toddler’s shown.

    If tribal marks are going, it’d better take male circumcision with it, both are “barbaric” after all. Nigerians are however too much in love with using the arbitrary powers of the state to make stupid discriminatory laws.

    Let tribal marking continue its slow death, cultural markers are nobody’s business but the group’s. As Christ says, do unto your neighbour……………..

    • Marian

      November 14, 2016 at 1:43 pm

      ?Were you trying to write about female circumcision???

    • Idon'tgetit

      November 14, 2016 at 2:52 pm

      Good question. Because the long grammar was getting me confused.

    • Lynda Steves

      November 14, 2016 at 2:00 pm

      There is nothing wrong with tribal marks and continuing the traditions of our forefathers however the marks do not have to be all over the child’s face, they could have marked his body without ruining and placing limitation on the child’s life before it’s even began! WICKEDNESS!

    • EE

      November 14, 2016 at 4:39 pm

      What “limitation” did it place on OBJ??? It looks bad now, but it’ll heal and revert to the normal scarification we all know, getting less visible with age.

    • Marian

      November 14, 2016 at 2:11 pm

      Nevermind, you actually mentioned penis. You could have written all that without calling people stupid because from where i’m at the word seems a little more appropriate for you. I’ll let you google the health benefits of male circumcision.
      I have personally witnessed a lot of male circumsion and some babies don’t even cry. We use a numbing agent prior which i doubt they did for this poor baby. It is in no way shape or form even close to what they did to that baby. It heals up nicely without leaving a SCAR ( there is always a risk of infection but this is very rare because it’s done under sterile condition).

    • EE

      November 14, 2016 at 4:34 pm

      Dear respondents, why do you insist on chopping off a part of a defenceless child’s penis? It is “barbaric”!

      First, it is done without the child’s consent, why?? because it lessens their odds of getting STD’s?? Sorry in the 21st century, we have condoms, vaccines and medicines for that, no need for the “barbaric” methods. After-all getting chicken pox reduces your chance of getting it another time to zero, unlike circumcision which does not for STDs. Do you endorse exposing your children to chicken pox rather than vaccinating them? What about to malaria to boost their immunity?

      I’m guessing at this point, you’ll revert to cultural and religious arguments.

      Well in the 21st century, we simply term it child abuse, no different from the “barbaric” tribal markings you all so gladly banned. You have no right to mutilate your child for “cultural” reasons.

      On Religion, well originally, circumcision was a Jewish marker, borrowed then by the Christians and Muslims. However, Christians made circumcision non-compulsory in Acts 15. So Christians are exempt, even if they aren’t like Muslims (to my knowledge) its still child abuse, if you are so confident, wait until the child can decide to get circumcised, as an adult!

      “But it does nothing, tribal markings scar the child for life!!”

      True, but they are just that, scars. To them, an important cultural marker, no different from Maori tattoos or the ear stretching of other cultures. Do they affect IQ? chance of success? of course not, one even became President. Then why are you viscerally so against it?? Not like not marking your child will somehow make them immune to acquiring scars by other means.

      In my view, because I put some thought into it, circumcision and tribal markings are of the same coin, you can’t condemn one and praise the other. Its rather simple, let us agree on one thing. Both are bad, let’s let adults decide, do they want their face scarred to belong a to group or they want their foreskin chopped so they can belong to a religion. Trying to have it both ways, yeah, hypocritical! We all know what Christ says about them.

      We are only defending one, due to cultural purposes, thus we have no moral high-ground to ban that of others.

      Now, some have indicated offence at my use of “stupid”, I’m sorry. Nonetheless, I put some thought into this, aside from issues of ethics, how exactly will this be policed? Will the parents of all children with tribal marks be thrown in prison?? All of you support this?? when they do not harm the child’s future? Now think it through further, in prison, they earn nothing, so they pay nothing in taxes, instead OUR taxes will be used to clothe and feed them. Over tribal marks that we all grew up with.

      There is one word, for people that don’t think through their actions, but since y’all find it “offensive”……………………..

    • Huh?

      November 14, 2016 at 2:11 pm

      Circumcision is not cultural but religious, tribal marks are not important in this day and age(someone already explained below why they were used the past) and serve no purpose. It was also cultural to kill twins and stone children accused witchcraft.
      Not all cultural practices deserve to be retained.

    • Bella

      November 14, 2016 at 2:57 pm

      Thank you for your honest comment, we have come a long way, for all this to still continue in this day and age, we are wiser now and understand what is good and bad and what serves us and doesn’t serve us as a people and a culture any longer. THIS is no longer necessary, just as you mentioned, neither is female circumcision or killing of twin children or albinos. We are way better than this now! I support the ban.

    • EE

      November 14, 2016 at 4:50 pm

      Religion is a culture in the sense, that various religious practices set people apart culturally. Examples, Catholics not eating meat during Lent, Muslims fasting during Ramadan, The Indian Diwali e.t.c. Religion and culture are intrinsically linked.

      Circumcision is also not important in this day and age, besides, who are you to force your religion on your child?? When they are adults, let them decide. Also unless you are Jewish or Muslim, then its not “religious” either.

      “It was also cultural to kill twins and stone children accused witchcraft.”


      Killing and Stoning= 100% chance of death.
      Tribal markings=????

      Some cultures……………like circumcision.

      **Note, I am pro-circumcision, just don’t like unfairness. This is unfair, we’re are forcing our views on others via the law, just because we can. Note, assuming you’re anti-abortion, I’m sure you’re aware of the “my body” argument, what moral high-ground will you have against that when supporting interfering with a baby’s body for your beliefs???

      I’m guessing that its harmless? Well so are tribal markings.

    • fact

      November 15, 2016 at 3:22 am

      @EE you cant compare this to male circumcision. This is 2016. The equipment is sophisticated and so quick and its not just beneficial for STDs it removes risk for a condition called phimosis ( check google if u dont know what that is)…..and its a total fallacy that it reduces sexual pleasure….no need to be so dramatic and spread false info that diverts from this important message.

    • FullStop

      November 15, 2016 at 9:51 am

      EE abeg stop all this lengthy analysis, forget culture and all other explanation. This particular tradition is wrong and should be stopped.(FullStop).

  4. Tru

    November 14, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    Kai…but this is horrible…horrible…scarring the poor child for life…

  5. zzzzzzzzzzzzz

    November 14, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    As a student of History, tribal marks were given to identify the tribe one came from. In the past there was constant inter-tribal wars and the only way one can tell on tribe apart from the other is by looking at the tribal mark on the persons face. In the past most people could speak more than three languages due to inter trade and it was very possible for anyone to pretend they were from a neighboring tribe just because they could speak the language. That said, we are currently living in present times were there are inter tribal skirmishes but not whole scale wars. There really is no need for tribal marks in this present age. I must confess there are some that look beautiful on the bearer and others like the one on this child is just not fair. Think it needs to stop except by choice and that is if the person is old enough.

    • EE

      November 14, 2016 at 4:54 pm

      Exact same argument could be made for circumcision. My point has never been about “right or wrong”. Its about the dangers of ceding the moral high ground.

      Circumcision was used to mark Jews from Gentiles, remember David having to present foreskins to Saul for Micah’s hand, the argument could be made it played the role, tribal marks play here. As a Historian, you then can’t use the whole “Covenant” argument, you’d be laughed out of the academia.

  6. Ife

    November 14, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    I’m not saying waging a war on mutilation of kids is not important but after the you end the war on mutilation what would they eat ? Please focus on that one and start giving to charity other than using hard earned money of tax payers to buy expensive motor bikes and cars?

  7. Not Bitter Kola

    November 14, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    That’s a good thing. But how about Education and healthcare? You uavrnt seen enough viral pictures yet I guess… Yeye dey smell.

  8. What an ass

    November 14, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    Didn’t think they still did this in Nigeria, this is wrong on so many levels. I hope they can get this child to heal before it leaves a huge scar.

  9. Marian

    November 14, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    I legit thought this baby was attacked by something when i saw the pic on fb. It just looks so brutal. In 2016? They gon mark a baby like this just for tribal id? Africa can like to fall my hand sometimes with some of these practices that should have been questioned and stopped.
    The day i researched why ethiopians eat raw meat i was just shocked they continued the practice till date. Something they should have ended a long time ago. You see people eating raw meat with flies all over it.

  10. Survivor

    November 14, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    what about bill against beating ur wives…?ewu ewu ewu!!!
    Tot u called trump a devil…idioy

  11. Jules

    November 14, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    @EE no need for the name calling. Tribal marks are archaic, barbaric and down right unnecessary . There are other means of identification now. FYI men with uncircumcised penis have a higher chance of being infected with diseases such as HIV, genital ulcers….. (Google is your friend)

    • EE

      November 14, 2016 at 5:02 pm

      I’m so sorry, it came from a place of fondness. Forgive me.

      “Circumcision is archaic, barbaric and down right unnecessary . There are other means of identification now.”

      “FYI men with uncircumcised penis have a higher chance of being infected with diseases such as HIV, genital ulcers”

      Jules to my knowledge is a male name, I hope you’ll volunteer to carry out the brave mission of sampling a few STD carriers with your, I assume circumcised penis. Being rational, would you not rather use these things we have now called “condoms”???

      So if we have condoms, does that not by definition make the “advantages” of circumcision obsolete, and thus one might say “unnecessary”.

      Now normally, I’m not the sort to be invested in these sort of arguments. But I’m circumcised, my future sons, will be. I recognise that I do so for cultural reasons, because I believe that culture is a vital part of who you are, to be passed down generations.

      Now, how would I feel if some know-it-alls from the city declared my harmless cultural practice ‘illegal”. I’m trying to follow the golden rule on this.

    • Sally

      November 14, 2016 at 8:39 pm

      EE, I guess playing the devil’s advocate makes you feel good. But you have contradicted yourself several times. The sum of it is this – no matter what you think about circumcision or scarification, when the majority of a population is against a certain practice, it can be outlawed. Most people are against scarification of babies and that’s it.. When a sufficient percentage of the populace is against male circumcision in the future, then no matter our religious beliefs, it will be outlawed and that would be it.

    • Marian

      November 14, 2016 at 11:34 pm

      STD is not the only benefits of circumsciscion. A lot of research have actually gone into the practice and that’s why it has continued till date. It’s now a medical procedure done by licensed practitioners. ( parents still have a choice so some will choose not to).

      My point is this practice was reviewed and continued only because of the many benefits it holds. CDC weighed in on it. I doubt i can find research on tribal mark and why the benefits of continuing the practice outweighs the risk.

      what is the point of marking this child? Are we still at war where identification will be necessary? Even if we’ve come a long way and now have other means to do this. The likelihood of an infection is so high. In obj’s time this practice was still acceptable but now it can actually be seen as a limitation. Our society is so obsessed with physical beauty. I’m yet to meet anyone who has tribal mark listed as a criteria they look for in a spouse.
      Circumcision is really just loose skin been clipped off. Keeping it around may pose more harm than keeping it off.

      Personally, (due to the nature of my job) uncircumcised penis have scarred me mehn. It was shocking to discover a lot of guys do not know how to properly clean the extra skin they are carrying around down there.

    • EE

      November 15, 2016 at 12:57 am


      Good point, but the will of the majority is not a basis to make laws, First you have to define majority, +1 or +1000.

      Then going by your logic, if the majority voted to allow men beat their wives, It should be accepted?

  12. Yetty

    November 14, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    I don’t believe this senator should forcefully take people’s tradition away from them haba. This practice is form of expression that is dying out on its own anyway. Why impose your personal views on other people? If you don’t like it, maybe work on an educational campaign instead of all this holy anger?
    If you must ban it by force, I think you need to ban circumcision, ear piercings, tattoos and all forms of unnecessary body modification people do to babies….if not, please calm down and find more productive things to do for the people.

  13. Esther

    November 14, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    Just because something is cultural doesnt make it right. There are several terrible cultural practices that could do with being abolished. A lot of people with tribal marks are wishing and looking for ways to get rid of them. If people wish to have tribal marks, allow the child to get to an age where they can decide whether or not they want it.

    Circumsion is also encouraged for hygiene purposes and I’ve heard of instances where grown men had to have emergency circumsion due to infections caused by complications of the foreskin. Thats my two pence anyway

    • EE

      November 15, 2016 at 1:01 am

      Circumcision is all but dead in Europe, their hygiene I’m guessing is fine. I too have heard that some circumcised men complain of numbness and feel anger at their parents for making the decision for them? If you want a circumcised child, “allow the child to get to an age where they can decide whether or not they want it.”

      They are both sides of the same coin. Everybody is defending one because we think its “normal”, but are perfectly willing to condemn other people’s normal.

  14. omo lara zion

    November 14, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    Seconded! This animalistic treatment has to stop. I have 2 marks on my face and I feel terribly ugly and unhappy whenever I look in the mirror, specially days when someone calls you “okola ” or ask you where you are from with that cringworthy scornful laugh. I honestly don’t think I can forgive my dad for it, and to think he didn’t have it on his own face.. Sheer wickedness!

  15. fact

    November 15, 2016 at 3:24 am

    Again EE stop using false dramatic message to divert from this message. If it bothers you so much, tweet about your concerns with factual info not random hearsay and start your own thread….

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