The ceremony took place in the living room of a humanist in Benue state.
The Humanist Association of Nigeria has recorded its first child naming ceremony since it was founded in 1996.
The ceremony took place in the living room of a humanist in Benue state, Ingye Dooyum Dominic on September 17, 2022, in Makurdi, Benue state.
Leo Igwe, a board member of the Humanist Association of Nigeria and Humanists International, in a statement on Wednesday, said the event was his first.
He said it started with some welcome and introductory remarks.
Recounting the details of the event, Igwe said, “In his remarks, Mr. Dominic welcomed everyone to the naming service of their first child and daughter. He recounted how the birth of the child transformed him and his family.
“In my introduction, I explained the importance of naming, in this case, a humanist naming ceremony. A naming ceremony is an exciting event because it provides an opportunity for families and friends to celebrate a new arrival, a new addition to the family.
“A humanist naming ceremony is a ceremony that is consistent with humanist values. It has no rules. A humanist naming ceremony is unique, personal, flexible, sincere, and collaborative.
“As a humanist celebrant, my job is to help parents, in this case, Ingye and Joy, to mark the arrival of their new baby.”
“Nonreligious parents organize humanist naming ceremonies. Religious parents who desire an inclusive service for their baby can also organize a humanist naming ceremony,” he said.
Igwe recalled that the new parents made promises to their child, saying they “will not fill your mind with fear or restrict your curiosity”.
“Finally, we will teach you to reject and oppose injustice, and to firmly state what is right or wrong. You will live free, we promise you, our lovely daughter,” Igwe quoted the parents as also promising.
According to Igwe, there was a group photograph with the new baby named Doose Dooyum, as it is done during regular naming ceremonies.
He noted that Doose Dooyum means ‘we love her because we genuinely love her’.
“There is a growing demand for non-religious ceremonies in Nigeria,” he said.
“These demands are mainly at the theoretical levels due to opposition and hostility from religious family members. Many humanists have expressed the desire to have their weddings, child naming, and funerals in ways that are free from superstitions.
“The humanist association will work to fulfill this need and aspiration of humanists."