Group Decries Poor State of Nigerian Cemeteries
The bizarre and poor state of cemeteries in Nigeria has become very worrisome as most of the graveyards have turned out to be places of defecating, refuse dumping, hide-outs for criminals and center for ritual activities.
It is against this backdrop that a team of Kaduna-based clerics (Imams and Pastors) engaged in a graveyard tour within Kaduna metropolis to sensitize the public on health hazard and dangers of defecating in cemeteries as well as to discourage dumping of refuse in such areas.
Addressing journalists after the tour, the team leader who is also the General Overseer of Christ Evangelical Intercessory Fellowship Ministry Church, Pastor Yohanna Buru, said, “a graveyard is supposed to be a clean and sacred environment, not a refuse dump site.”
According to him, a graveyard must be properly secured and fenced up to avoid trespassing or encroachment; but the reverse is the case, as most of cemeteries have no fence and are exposed to all sorts of filthiness.
He further expressed worry over what he referred to as ‘neglect of Nigerian graveyard sanitation,’ stating that majority of the cemeteries in Kaduna and other parts of Nigeria are in bad condition resulting from lack of sanitation exercise by some worshipers.
“It is regrettable that our graveyards are not looking attractive due to the I-don’t-care attitude of many residents to the extent that they have turned cemeteries into refuse grounds where criminals and ritualists are sighted at nights carrying out nefarious activities,” he said.
Buru urged the state government to secure and start cleaning what he termed as ‘final home,’ saying; “When we grow old, God willing, we are going to be permanently laid in those graveyards; so, we must keep them clean.” He further called on government and religious leaders to sensitize citizens and worshippers on the importance of keeping the graveyards clean; adding that, there is the need for state governments to extend the monthly sanitation exercise to graveyards, in order to save the poor state of Nigerian cemeteries.
In the same vein, a Muslim scholar, Alaramma A. Bichi, who was part of the tour, expressed dissatisfaction over the condemnable attitude of some people who usually defecate at the cemeteries – emphasizing on the need for Nigerians to use every last Saturday of the month for cleaning cemeteries.
A general survey of Nigerian graveyards shows that there is the need for fencing of all cemeteries, in order to protect them from trespassers and refuse dumping.