By John Ikani
Unlike Nigeria’s majority Islamic north, the predominantly Christian region in the east often experience difficulties in burying their dead.
This is as funerals have become an expensive affair in eastern Nigeria, with traditional and religious leaders asking for money before presiding over the ceremony.
When Anambra State Governor Willie Obiano assented to a new burial law in 2020, many believed it was a good step that will eventually bring an end to the era of expensive burial in the state and the eastern region at large.
A significant highlight of the law, provided that all burial ceremonies must be for one day and the burial services must start not later than 9:00 am and must not last more than two hours.
However, the law has failed its purpose of stopping pockets of expensive burials in Anambra which played host to the extravagant eight-day funeral of Obinna Iyiegbu, mother of businessman, Obi Cubana.
Speaking about the non-fading trend to BBC, a traditional ruler said there was “nothing wrong with the culture” adding that there is room for consultations when the funeral becomes too expensive.
“It is not a tax, you give respect to the departing,” the ruler told BBC’s Olive Ndubuisi.
A Pastor said the church understands those who explain their predicament, but cautioned that some families wanted elaborate and expensive funerals.
“Most of these things is the fault of family members because even when you don’t want to tax them they go out of hand to do things elaborately,” the Pastor said.