By Tony Okafor,Awka
The Indigenous People of Biafra( IPOB) has said it has discovered that keeping corpses in the morgues for too is the bane of the Igbo in all material circumstances.
As a consequence, it has asked Ndigbo to endeavour and bury their dead ones within three days to avert what it called ancestral curses.
The group said this in a statement circulated to journalists by its media and publicity secretary, Emma Powerful, on Wednesday, stating that it was not the culture of the Igbo to keep corpses for a long time before burial.
It said, “We wish to announce to all Biafrans, friends of Biafra and lovers of Biafra freedom that it is high time Biafrans start burying our dead within three days as it was in ancient times. IPOB has gone too deep in the spiritual and finds out that keeping our dead ones for so long is contributing to the major problems of Ndigbo in this present times.
The secessionists said its findings had shown that the excuses being given by the Igbo for keeping their dead ones for a long time before burial were not cogent, maintaining that it would engage traditional rulers, church leaders, presidents general of communities and other stakeholders to effect the new order, saying that the allien practice of ‘mummifying’ the dead had negative impacts on the people and on the land.
It said as it was in past, bereaved families should be allowed to commit their dead ones to mother earth while a date for the burial ceremony could be fixed for a later date.
The group’s statement read in part, “Our ancestors were burying their dead ones within three days and that is our culture and it helped our ancestors spiritually. Igbos have very rich and spiritually based culture which our ancestors maintained from the beginning of time.
“The present habit of keeping dead bodies more than three days and even months and years in the mortuary have had dire effects on our land and contributed to the spiritual weakness of Igbo nation and of the entire Biafraland, moral decadence and all manner of evil that have taken root in our land.
“Now that IPOB has come to realise that this alien practice of keeping the dead on land rather than committed to mother earth has had a very negative impact on our people and upon our land; it has therefore become very imparative to urge our people to revert to the old practices that have very positive effect upon our welbeing both spiritually and otherwise.
“After some thorough investigation we have come to the realization that all the reasons given by our people which cause the unnecessary delay in burying our dead within a short period are neither cogent nor important enough.
“These reasons are all man-made mostly monetary conditions from the bereaved families, traditional rites, churches and Umunna. Some of these reasons were self imposed while others are just to punish the deasead families and make money from the dead.
“We ,therefore beg our people, religious leaders, traditional rulers and mostly the Umunna both men and women to stop taxing bereaved families as a condition before they are allowed to commit their departed loved one to mother earth. Some of our people have turned burial as a carnival and asking families to pay levies or debt for their dead ones is an abomination and must be stopped forthwith.
“But using reasons of nonpayment of burial levies to stockpile dead bodies in the mortuaries is what IPOB don’t want again in our territory. Our people should revert to our old healthy tradition of burying the dead.”