The House of Assembly Anambra State on Wednesday passed a bill which banning expensive burial ceremonies for the dead in the state. The bill is entitled ‘a law to control burial/funeral ceremonial activities in the state.’ The assembly makes it an offence to hold lavish burial ceremonies in the state, or even holding such occasions beyond one day.
Hon Charles Ezeani, the sponsor of the bill, member representing Anaocha II constituency, stated that “Burial/funeral control bill is aimed at cutting down the cost of burial activities in the state.” He explained further that the bill provided 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 the death, while burial ceremonies in the state shall be for one day.”
The law prohibited destruction of property, gunshots, praise singing, blocking of roads, lavish entertainment and blocking of streets during burial ceremonies in the state.
Ezeani also said that the bill provided that, “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. “It further stipulates that during burial and funeral ceremonial activities, the family of the deceased shall provide food for their kindred, relatives and other sympathisers at their own discretion.”
Speaking to reporter, Ezeani said a monitoring and implementation committee that would enforce the law when assented to by the governor will be set up. The Bishop of Awka Catholic diocese, Rt Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor had been at the forefront of the campaign for expensive burials to be outlawed in the state.