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Private Cemetery Operators Urge Enforcement Of Law Prohibiting Home Burial In Ekiti

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— Hail Governor Oyebanji’s Developmental Programmes

Concerned about the hazards it poses to  the health of the people mainly out of ignorance, a consortium of cemetery operators has urged the Ekiti State government to implement the law prohibiting home burial in the state.

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Courses under Mass Communication and Media Technology includes:
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- Development Communications⁠
- Film and Multimedia
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- ⁠⁠Journalism and Media Studies
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Courses under Mass Communication and Media Technology includes:
- Advertising
- ⁠Broadcasting
- Development Communications⁠
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- Information and Media Studies⁠
- ⁠⁠Journalism and Media Studies
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Chairman, Citigate Park and Garden Ltd, a private cemetery outfit, in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, Dr Ayo Olaiya canvassed this while speaking on behalf of his colleagues to journalists on the need for families to embrace the modern trend of burying the dead at specially designated places outside the homes.

The disease control expert said the consortium of cemetery operators in Ekiti state deemed it apposite to once again remind the state government that a law to that effect had been enacted during the regime of the immediate past governor of the state, Dr Kayode Fayemi, but only waiting for implementation.

According to him, the group and other cemetery operators in the state are championing the agitation for burial outside the homes because the idea of private cemeteries came up when the former deputy governor of the State, the late Mrs Adunni Olayinka died in 2012.  And there was a problem getting a place to bury her. Stressing that this embarrassing scenario informed the push for the establishment of private cemeteries in the state, which he underscored is not for money making but a legacy project that can last for several years.  

Members of the group, further pointed out that they are having three private cemeteries in the state: Citygate cemetery, Emirin road, Ado-Ekiti, Evergreen Final Rest Home, Ijero road, Aramoko Ekiti and the Bell cemetery, Iworoko road, near NNPC, Ado -Ekiti. While another will soon come on stream at Ikere-Ekiti. 

He explained that the group is not crusading for this initiative out of selfishness, but considering the health implications such trend will continue to have on the health of human beings if not addressed or controlled with some legislations.

The public health specialist posited that the clamour by the group for the state to have private cemeteries is premised on the law made by the state government prohibiting burying corpses at home which even as at then had a regulation backing it. 

Going down memory lane, he disclosed that it was former governor Fayemi’s government that made the regulation, and the lands for the private cemeteries were sold to members of the group  during the same regime.

The power conferred by section 62 and 103 of Ekiti State Environmental Health and Sanitation law, No. 21, 2020 states that, “no person (s) shall be allowed to bury corpse in a residential area other than the designated public or private cemetery.

“Any person found burying corpse at home will be prosecuted and will still exhume the corpse under the supervision of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and that any person who fails to comply with section 3 of the regulation shall pay fine of one million naira or one year imprisonment”.

The group lauded the churches and mosques that are already having their own cemeteries notwithstanding that they are not treated as private cemeteries, but at least corpses should not be buried at home. “While at the same time the group is not glossing over the fact that there are certain people who may not be able to afford private cemeteries. He reiterated that the cause they are driving at is for health reasons. 

The spokesperson for the consortium also highlighted a situation where people buried their parents in their houses, ten to twenty feet away from there, they have a bore hole or a well which is not healthy. 

He pointed out the need to create the awareness that burying corpse at home is not hygienic or healthy. This he maintained, behoves the government to have enough alternatives, such as private cemeteries, religious cemeteries and public cemeteries.

On the update from the government so far, Dr Olaiya remarked: “The last time we spoke with the government, they said they don’t have the land yet and that they don’t have enough personnel to enforce the law. We don’t want the government to sleep on the law they made. We have met with the Commissioner for Environment in the State to remind the present administration that there’s a law in place that says no burial at home”.

He was unhappy that implementation of the law against home burial should suffer such an unexpected setback after Fayemi’s government had issued  licenses to members of the group, and made the rules and regulations which  are not being enforced in the State.

Dr Olaiya suggested that to make the law effective, there must be enough space to take both the poor and the rich, young and old”. Local governments, to him should have public cemeteries to be handled by private companies for efficiency.

He hopes that seeing the clamour of the group on implementation of the law against burying the dead at residential homes receive the blessing of the present administration in the state will be part of the group’s (private cemetery operators) contributions to the development of Ekiti state.

In another development, the group has commended the Biodun Oyebanji-led administration, describing it as people-oriented.

Dr Olaiya who equally encapsulated the views of his colleagues said the governor has put in place physical infrastructural developments in place thereby uplifting the wellbeing of the people. He said aside the state capital, Ado-Ekiti, the governor is spreading such facilities to other parts of the state, at least to ensure that the grassroots are not neglected.

He believes that with the way the governor started and what is on ground to justify his mandate to the people in seeing to their wellbeing and  transforming the state in every facet, the group will be supportive of his administration. 

Dr Ayo Olaiya, a  Ph.D holder in Microbiology and Public Health is a former university lecturer, at the University of Ife, now, Obafemi Awolowo, Ile-Ife. He also worked at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Yaba, Lagos, before going into private venture.


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