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Anambra Assembly passes burial control bill: Politics : Nigerialog.com - Nigeria's Premier Online Forum

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Anambra Assembly passes burial control bill

By: dayan (M) |Time : April 11, 2019, 01:18:35 AM
Awka—WORRIED by the exorbitant amounts spent by families in burying their dead ones, the Anambra House of Assembly has passed a bill for a law to control burial and funeral ceremonies in the state.

The bill, which was sponsored by the member representing Anaocha 11 constituency, Chief Charles Ezeani, provides that “in the event of death, no person shall deposit any corpse in the mortuary or any place beyond two months from the date of  death, while burial ceremonies shall be for one day only.”

It also banned the destruction of property, firing of gunshots, praise singing and blocking of roads and streets during burial ceremonies in the state, warning that defaulters would be punished according to the law.

In addition, it provides that “from the commencement of the law, no person shall subject any relation of the deceased person to a mourning period of more than one week from the date of the burial ceremony.”

Sponsor of the bill, Ezeani, explained that the bill also made provision for a monitoring and implementation committee that would enforce the law, as well as their responsibilities.

He described the bill as a welcome development and a great achievement by the sixth Anambra House of Assembly, adding that the bill had put to rest the high cost of burial/funeral activities in the state.

Vanguard recalls that the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor began the campaign against expensive burial in Anambra State and subsequently, took the crusade to the State House of Assembly. He was thereafter appointed a resource person for the bill.

The bishop’s visit to the state assembly last year coincided with the lawmakers’ public hearing on the bill during which he observed that the extravagance displayed by the people during funeral ceremonies in the state had reached a point that necessitated an effective legislation to control the excesses.

According to him, if it remained unchecked, expensive burials would lead people into pitiable situations and bondage.

Speaking on the passed bill, the cleric said: “I have seen families sell their real estates, property, and personal belongings, in order to meet up with the expectations of society as regards funeral expenses. Businesses had folded, marriages had broken down, children had been out of school and sudden deaths had been recorded, simply because people could not wriggle out of the devastating effects of the huge expenses incurred during the funerals of their loved ones.

“I always seize any available opportunity to speak on the dangers of wasteful burials and funerals among our people. I have insisted that what we should be talking about is how to give our people decent and befitting living and not befitting funerals by which we mean mindless display of extravagance.

‘The money used for extravagant burils could be better applied to helping the living. The faithful already know this, and I have received countless phone calls commending the move. ‘Wearing of mourning dresses/Asoebi has turned into a practice used for display of wealth and importance.

Already, the bishop had banned the production of brochures in the Catholic Diocese of Awka, with effect from 1 May 2017. He had also banned priests and religious from cooking and sharing souvenirs during the burial of their relatives, in a bid to reduce the cost of burial and funeral ceremonies.

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Re: Anambra Assembly passes burial control bill

By: dayan (M) |Time : April 11, 2019, 01:42:01 AM
Though one can relate with (and support) the noble intentions behind this law, I'm afraid that a huge part of it may in fact be unconstitutional, and someone may challenge it in court.

I say this because people cannot be "legislated into proper personal conduct". The only part of the law that may be constitutional is the part that bans blocking of public right of way, and maybe banning of fireworks (still a public control issue). What does it cost the public when a person decides to be an idiot who sells his own private property just to conduct a "befitting burial"?
Would the government also ban people from wasting their money in idiotic weddings and traditional marriage ceremonies?
People have constitutional rights to be idiots as long as they are not costing the public anything.
If a man decides to conduct idiotic funeral, another man can call it that, and decide for himself not to tow the same line. Nobody will force another to conduct such wasteful ceremonies.

The government has almost ZERO interest (locus standi) in how people spend their money in funerals.

The government can decide to levy funeral tax for funerals, but that is all it can legally do.

To me, personally, the fact that the Catholic church (or any other church for that matter) is behind this, is a red flag, because Nigeria's constitution clearly bans religion inspired or induced policy.
This is how the church started to arrogate to itself the duty of forcing would-be couples to undergo HIV test before they could be wed in church.
Again, on paper (and maybe intent) it seems like is a positive thing, but it is in fact a very negative thing, because it is NOT the church's place to know of people's private medical information.

These are things you find in third world countries.

Controlling exorbitant funerals should be the duty of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and other towns unions who can gradually admonish and nudge the people into proper conduct. That is how exorbitant bride prices were eliminated in Anambra state. The government was NEVER involved.
But the best way to tackle this is for people to decide for themselves NOT to waste money during funerals.
Bad cultures come and go, and this is not the first bad culture that has ever crept into Igboland.
There was a time when Igbo sons hardly went to high school. They went straight into trading apprenticeship.
But today, they go to school very well even up to university level before starting trading.
Nobody made any laws that forced that change in conduct.

Onye cholu i bu atulu maka na o na akwa ozu, nke ahu gbasara ya!

The government should leave people well alone! 


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