Human Interest

Anambra burial law: Tension as govt, Igboukwu disagree over Ezeife’s funeral


By Our correspondent

There is palpable tension over the burial of a former governor of Anambra State, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife , following an alleged disagreement between the state government and the Igboukwu Community over the state’s burial law.

According to a source which spoke exclusively to our correspondent the Igboukwu community has refused plans by Anambra State government to conduct the burial of the former governor of the state, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife only just for a day according to Anambra State burial law.

The source confirmed that the government is resolute about upholding the burial law and has canceled the mounting of billboards and posters for the burial.

But the community has insisted that even if the state refuses to participate in the burial ,the community would be able to raise substantial amount of money to give the former Governor a befitting burial.

The source stated that some stakeholders had waded into the matter to make the Governor see reasons with the community .

Recently the Anambra Chapter Of CLO had joined call by many associations in urging the state government to give the former Governor a befitting burial.

Ezeife, a Harvard trained economist was Governor of Anambra State between January 1992 to November 1993 during the aborted Third Republic.

As a former Governor of Anambra State, the late Chukwuemeka Ezeife who was also a former federal permanent Secretary is expected to be given a state burial like the former Governor mbadinuju of Anambra State who was buried in November last year.

Ezeife died 14th December last year and according to the family, the funeral activities to bid this statesman farewell will commence in April this year almost 4 months after his death and according to government contravenes the state burial law.

Among other things,the Anambra burial law prohibits the erection of billboards, banners and posters of deceased persons. Persons are allowed to erect only directional posts. However, such directional posts must not be erected before seven days to the burial date and should be removed not later than seven days after the burial date.

The law provides that corpses should not be left in a mortuary beyond two months from the date of death. Defaulters shall, upon conviction, pay a fine of N100,000 or serve an imprisonment term of six months, or both.

No blockage of roads: Roads are not to be blocked for any burial except with permission from the appropriate local government authority.

The law also prohibits second funeral rites after burial except in the case of legacy.

Also, the law states that there will be no wake for deceased individuals in the state, and all vigil-mass/service of songs/religious activities preceding the burial must conclude by 9:00 p.m.

The law further provides that there will be no food, drink, life band, or cultural entertainers during or after these ceremonies.
Exposure of corpses: Preserved or embalmed corpses shall not be exposed for more than 30 minutes from the time of exposition. Alternatively, such corpses may be kept in a secure room or any concealed location on the premises. Also, the law states that condolence visits after burial/funeral ceremonies should not extend beyond one day.

Undertaker’s conduct and number: The law stipulates that funeral undertakers should not be more than six in number and there should be no undertakers’ display during the burial ceremony.

No burial on market day, no brochure: The law provides that burials are not to be held on any local market day of every town in the state. Also, no funeral brochure should be made except for the Order of Mass/Service on the day burial

By Ifeizu Joe

Ifeizu is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of TheRazor. He has wide knowledge of Anambra State and has reported the state objectively for over a decade.

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