Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka
Stakeholders in Eziowelle community in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State, on Tuesday, raised the alarm over what they called have high cost of burial in the community allegedly caused by the town union leadership.
According to the stakeholders, the situation in the community had forced some people to abandon the corpses of their beloved ones in the mortuaries for months as they could not afford the burial levy imposed on them by the town union leadership.
Led by Chief Felix Okafor and Emeka Akukwe, some stakeholders who spoke to newsmen at a press briefing, in Awka, alleged that upon coming into office about three years ago, the leadership of the town imposed a burial levy of N1 million on every bereaved family in the area before they could commence the funeral arrangements of their dead ones.
They also alleged that same thing happen when anyone wanted to start foundation of house in the community.
They added, “As a result of this many families have abandoned their loved ones in the morgues for months because they are finding the costs too high.
“So, they have to leave them in hospital mortuary refrigerators until they can work out how to pay for the levy.
“The same way if you have to start the foundation of your house in Eziowelle you will have to first pay a levy of N1 million to the town union before you can start.
“Failure to do so, the town union leadership would mobilise thugs to attack you. This is the type of yoke we are passing through in Eziowelle community.
One of the leaders, Akukwe, told newsmen that it was because of the anomalies that he presented himself as a candidate in the June 30 town union election of the community to liberate his people from what he described as bondage.
Alleging that the election was rigged by anti-democratic forces in the town who, according to him, manipulated the electoral processes in favour of another candidate said, “I’m a Geologist by training and a Consultant in the field. Ordinarily I won’t have anything to do with a community town union election; but I had to come in because of the bondage my people are subjected to.
“They are subjected to all manner of intimidation and dehumanization.
“So, some of us had to intervene to save our community because Eziowelle is a peace-loving and progressive community.
“In that election, they used all manner of intrigues, intimidation and manipulation of the constitution to subvert the people’s wish and aspirations.”
Akukwe, therefore, called on Governor Willie Obiano to intervene to give the people of the area the leadership they desired to save the community from imminent crisis.
Efforts to get the reaction of the President General of the community, Mr. Titus Akpudo, were not successful as his phone was switched off and there was no reply of the text a message sent to him as at sending the report.