IT IS no doubt alarming or to say the least absurd that Nigerians could be so hapless and impious to invade cemeteries and cart away human parts for whatever reasons and motives. Be it for monetary gains, rituals purposes, or for whatever cause, such actions are despicable, unacceptable as well as condemnable. Cemeteries as it were are final resting places and abodes or our late ones. It should be venerated. Regrettably this is not so going by the recent alarm that the cemeteries in Kwara state as in other states across the country have been invaded over time and human parts carted way for rituals and sundry purposes. According to reports over cemeteries nationwide, they have been designated as places where the dead no longer rest in peace. And it is a serious matter that the authorities must as a matter of urgency begin to accord serious attention by improving security as in other government buildings and institutions. The reports indicate that the usual solemn inscription and wish like ‘Rest in peace’ sleep on beloved ‘have become meaningless as the dead are been violated in their final abodes by unscrupulous Nigerians Worrying as the reports are trending increasingly across the country, particularly in obscurity , it indicates that these resting abodes are regularly invaded by robbers, scavengers who target and mutilate the dead bodies , especially vital human parts for ritual purposes as well as stealing ornaments and expensive apparels with which the dead are buried. A case in hand which has buttressed the recent upsurge of cemetery thieves are a revelation that criminals invaded the grave of the late wife of a governor in the southern part of the country and removed cash, expensive jewellery and clothing she was buried with. Another incident was a family that took their dead to a cemetery in Oke- Oyi in Ilorin and laid him to rest according to Muslim rites was astonished when they returned by the second day to lay a tomb, that the body has been dismembered outside the grave. There is no misgiving that these anomalies really sound ridiculous and unimaginable in such a cultural and highly religious society as Nigeria. How else if it must be asked do we want to cherish and keep the wish of our dying and dead ones alive? It is a known fact that most persons may instruct and have wished they are buried with their most liked apparels, expensive jewellery, books, and even the holy books like the Bile and Quran before their transition. And these instructions and cherished wish are often carried out to the latter, if not for anything but as a way of paying them last respect and honor. Indeed, we see no amount of justification holding this pernicious act, it is simply wicked and again we condemn it unequivocally. If in Ilorin the loathsome act has resurfaced, we not only say it is shameful in such a revered religious state but a wakeup call for all and sundry that the right thing like improved security be fashioned out for all the cemeteries across the nooks and crannies of the country. The various law enforcement agencies should as matter of urgency rise up to the occasion while we call on traditional rulers, Imams and Christian leaders to also design a method of protecting dead persons who are laid in the church and Muslim cemeteries respectively. This approach should also be replicated in the villages using the local vigilante to further protect the dead in their final resting abodes. We condemn in strong terms this rising anomaly and state unambiguously that death is not limited to only those who are first to pass on but an ‘inevitable must’ for everyone, including the criminal practitioners. They should see their acts as ungodly, sacrilegious and perilous as such desist.
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