By Florence Oduah
LGA), April 18, 2019 (MOI) Parish Priest, St. Joseph's Pro-Cathedral,
Ekwulobia, Rev. Fr. Ignatius Onwuatuegwu has hailed the ``Anambra State Burial/Funeral
Ceremonial Control Law, 2019’’ as progressive.
The bill, recently
passed by the Anambra State House of Assembly (ASHA) would aim at controlling
burial/funeral ceremony expenses within the state.
It specifies among
others that funeral ceremonies would hold for one day with no gunshots, cut
short ceremonies, nor subjecting deceased’s family to more than a week of
thanked God for the newly passed bill, saying he never knew that such a bill
could be passed by the House at this point in time.
The priest, who said
this in an interview at St. Joseph's Pro-Cathedral, Ekwulobia, noted that it
was a welcomed development.
He noted that for a
long time, the Church had been fighting to cut down expenses and other
unnecessary rituals associated with funerals.
ASBFCAB has given backing to the agitation and voice of the Church,” he added.
He pointed out that
he had already started creating awareness of the bill in his parish, saying
that the use of one day for funeral is workable.
Fr. Onwuatuegwu said
that some communities within the state use only a day for funeral and called
for maintenance of discipline on time allotted to funeral ceremonies.
``It is possible to
use a day for funeral ceremonies. Some communities within the state have
adopted it and it is working.
consolers should maintain and adhere to their apportioned time. This bill will
also cut down expenses for the family of the deceased.”
He added that some
hypertensive patients had gone into panic at the sound of gunshots, which come
unannounced at funeral ceremonies.
He, however, said
that not subjecting any member of the deceased family to more than a week of
mourning would enable them to engage freely in providing for their families.
interviews, the Traditional Ruler of Ekwulobia and Chairman, Aguata Traditional
Rulers, Igwe Emmanuel Onyeneke expressed mixed views at the bill.
He noted that the
good side supersedes the bad side as one day funeral would cut down on
unnecessary expenses by the people.
``The use of one day
for funeral is very good. It is possible if groups will maintain their time as
it will reduce financial, emotional and physical stress,” he added.
Onyeneke hailed some
aspects of the bill, while condemning the aspects of no gunshots,
praise-singing and refreshments during funeral ceremonies.
significant. In the traditional Igbo belief, it is believed that gunshot marks
the time when the spirit of the dead leaves for its resting place.
``We Igbos believe in
'Ikwu n’ ibe', when ones in-laws or kinsmen come to condole with him during
funeral ceremony; they deserve to be offered kola nuts, drinks and food.
``Some of the in-laws
may come from far off communities; even if they are from within same community,
they should be treated well. That aspect of the bill is not necessary,” he
The royal father
advocated praise-singing as funeral oration.
``Some people can
decide to sing the oration instead of reading it. So, praise singing should
remain,” he suggested.
The bill has yet to
be Assented to by the Governor, to make it legally binding on the people of the