- IPOB says it will engage church leaders, town unions, traditional rulers, and Umunna on the need to bury the dead within three days.
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has attributed the prevalence of ‘moral decadence and all manner of evil’ in Igboland to the practice of not burying dead ones within three days.
The group in a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, on Wednesday, August 24, 2022, said keeping corpses for too long contributes to major problems in the southeast.
According to IPOB, keeping corpses for more than three days, months and years in the mortuary has dire effects on Igbo land.
The group maintained that the only corpses that should be allowed to be in the mortuary for more than three days were those under investigation or with court-related matters.
IPOB, therefore, urged the people of the region to revert to the old practice of burying their loved ones within three days.
The statement reads,
“Our ancestors were burying their dead ones within three days and that is our culture and it helped our ancestors spiritually. Igbos have a very rich and spiritually-based culture which our ancestors maintained from the beginning of time.
“The present habit of keeping dead bodies more than three days and even months and years in the mortuary has had dire effects on our land and contributed to the spiritual weakness of the Igbo Nation and of the entire Biafraland, moral decadence and all manner of evil that have taken root in our land.
“Now that IPOB has come to realise that this alien practice of keeping the dead on land rather than committing it to mother earth has had a very negative impact on our people and upon our land, it has therefore become very imperative to urge our people to revert to the old practices that had very positive effects upon our well-being, both spiritually and otherwise.
“After some thorough investigation, we have come to the realisation that all the reasons given by our people which caused the unnecessary delay in burying our dead within a short period are neither cogent nor important enough. These reasons are all man-made mostly monetary conditions from the bereaved families, traditional rites, churches and Umunna.
“Our people have turned burial into a carnival and asking families to pay levies or debt for their dead ones. This is an abomination and must be stopped forthwith.
“As it was in past, bereaved families should be allowed to commit their dead ones to mother earth while a date for the burial ceremony is fixed for a later date as well as whatever levies that need to be collected.
“But using reasons of non-payment of burial levies to stockpile corpses in the mortuaries is what IPOB doesn’t want again in our territory. Our people should revert to our old healthy tradition of burying the dead and do the needful at specific times within their reach.
“IPOB will engage church leaders, town unions and traditional rulers and Umunna on this regard. We are advising them to prepare their minds on this clarion call because IPOB will develop a strategy of curtailing the excessive use of mortuary in our region.
“This strategy may include compelling the shutdown of so many mortuaries littered all over our land. The only dead bodies that can be allowed to stay longer in the mortuary are those in court or under police investigation.
“Igbos are shrinking in life because we dishonour the dead by keeping dead bodies in mortuaries for too long than necessary in these mortuaries. Any nation, tribe or family that keeps the dead without putting the corpse into the dust is causing a disservice to themselves.
“The Igboland has been turned into a gigantic mortuary where corpses are dumped with the accompanying dire consequences to our land and this attitude and practice must stop forthwith.
“Owners of mortuaries in our land must start planning for another business. We are not against those engaged in the mortuary business but we are against keeping dead ones longer than necessary because we are planning to march and we cannot keep dead bodies unburied before we match.
“IPOB is encouraging our people on the need to accord respect to our departed beloved ones by burying them immediately. In the olden days, our ancestors embalmed the dead in the house and buried within three days.
“Ndigbo were not cowards and lazy but today our land is devastated and destroyed completely by unknown gunmen and IPOB will not allow that to continue.”