To bring security challenges in the South East under control, a member of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Anambra State, Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka, yesterday, said the first thing to do was for the Governors and Ohaneze Ndigbo to organise a funeral ceremony to accord Biafran heroes who lost their lives during the civil war befitting burial rites.
Chief Ezeonwuka said even though the war ended over fifty years ago that it was a tradition all over the world including in Europe and United States that those who died consequent upon war were given a befitting burial. He insisted that the Igbo had to organise a burial ceremony for the fallen heroes and build epitaphs for them in capital cities of the five States of Igboland.
He explained that the reason for the burial ceremony and the epitaphs was to appease the souls of the fallen heroes “for the souls of the dead who did not receive burial rites are capable of causing trouble for the living and I want to say that the present security challenges we have as Ndigbo is not unconnected with the souls of the fallen heroes who are yet to receive burial rites from us.”
“When armed robbers and kidnapers were freely terrorising Anambra State I told Governor Willie Obiano to organise a burial ceremony for the Biafra fallen heroes because their spirits were behind the menace of armed robbery and kidnapping in the State and fortunately, the Governor gave me a listening ear and held a funeral for the fallen heroes at the Dr Ekwueme Square and Anambra heaved a sigh of relief as the issue of armed robbery and kidnapping reduced drastically in the State.
“However, what Governor Obiano did in Anambra State at time is not enough to represent the full burial ceremony that the fallen heroes deserve from Ndigbo because the names of the fallen heroes from Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo States were not included and some communities in Anambra couldn’t bring names. So there is need for a bigger burial ceremony for the fallen heroes hence the call for the Governors and Ohaneze to team up and organize a more detailed burial ceremony for them, ” he said.
The APGA chieftain also said that Ndigbo had to stop depositing dead bodies in mortuaries as a measure to curb the menace of challenges facing them because the souls of those bodies lying in cold rooms were sources of problems to the living.
While demanding that all dead bodies currently deposited in mortuaries across Igboland be removed immediately, he called on State governments to work hand in hand with traditional rulers and town unions to use the States Houses of Assembly to promulgate laws banning the idea of depositing dead bodies in mortuaries across the South East with immediate effect.
“Nature and even God Almighty demand that when someone dies the next thing is to commit the body to six feet. The idea of keeping dead bodies in refrigerators is not acceptable to nature and God who created the soul and the body. So it is proper and safer that the body has to be buried to join the soul when the body dies.
“Our anscestors didn’t teach us about keeping dead bodies in mortuary and we have to trace back and identify with their system to avoid being harmed. Dr Dozie Ikedife (Ikenga Nnewi) a sage by all standards told his children to avoid keeping his body in cold room because he knew the implications. So why can’t we learn from a sage like Ikedife, ” he asked.
Chief Ezeonwuka insisted that Ndigbo had to retrace their steps to key into the cultural values they inherited from the anscestors to be able to rise up to the occasion to give effective response to the current challenges facing them.
He observed with dismay that Ndigbo had lost the anacestral values of Offor n’ Ogu, (justice and fairness) Nso Ani, (laws of the land) Eziokwu bu Ndu, (truth is life) Nsopuru Okenye, (respect for the elders) Egwu Chukwu (fear of God and native deities, gods and goddesses) and Idike Olu (hardwork), among other Igbo traditional beliefs. He said those things were among the reasons the Igbo were facing the security challenges.