By; PAMELA EBOH, Awka
Okija community In Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State has banned funeral ceremonies for anyone who dies in cult related clash or war in the area, saying that the corpse would be left in police custody.
This is coming on the heels of recent heightened cult killings in the area, which invluded the beheading of a yet to be identified male in his home.
The traditional ruler of the community, Igwe Emeka Okezie made the declaration during a press conference in his palace.
According to him, the decision was as a result of recent developments in the community, which saw to the killing of some youths in cult-related clashes.
While saying that such incidents would not be allowed to continue, he said, “Sequel to the recent unwholesome developments in Okija, which saw to the killing of some youths in cult-related clashes, a meeting was convened by His Royal Highness, Igwe Emeka Okezie (Oka-Ije-Okija II), on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. In attendance were members of the Iba Eze, and members of the Otu Nwe Obodo Okija.
The meeting resolved that henceforth, there will be no burial ceremony for anybody confirmed to have died in cult-related clash or war; rather, the corpse of such person will be left in the custody of police authorities to deal with, accordingly.
“Again, henceforth, no funeral ceremony will be held for any cult member in the community; no matter the circumstances of death. Any family that disobeys this resolution for whatever reason, and under any circumstance, will be excommunicated for a period of seven years according to the Customary Laws of the land.”
The monarch warned all cultists still hibernating in Okija to leave the town by Sunday, April 11, 2021.
He also banned the operation of commercial motorcycle operators, aka as Okada within and around the area beyind 9pm.
Okezie dimissed cultism as an uneorthy venture, saying that the rising cases of the trend was borne out of the get-rich-quick syndrome among the youths.
He insisted that the law banning specific masquerades in the community was still in force adding that some elements hide under masquerade groups to perpetrate mischief and cause disharmony in the area.