The bizarre and poor state of Cemeteries in Nigeria has become worrisome as most of the grave-yards have turned out to be places of defecating, refuse dumping, hide-out for criminals and center for ritual activities.
It is against this backdrop that a team of Kaduna based clerics (Imams and pastors) engaged on a grave-yard tour within Kaduna metropolis to sensitize the public on health hazard and dangers of defecating in cemeteries as well as 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 to avoid trespassing or encroachment, but the reverse is the case, as most of cemeteries have no fence and are expose to all sort 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 which have turned cemeteries into refuse ground, where dangerous criminals and ritualists are sighted at night carrying out nefarious activities.”
Buru urged the state government to secure and start cleaning what he termed ‘final home’ saying; “When we grow old, God willing, we are going to be permanently laid in those grave yards 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 graveyard clean – adding that, there is the need for state governments to extend monthly sanitation to graved-yards 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 defecates at the cemeteries – emphasizing on the need for Nigerians to use every last Saturday of the month for cleaning the cemeteries.
General survey of the Nigerian graved-yard shows that there is the need for fencing all cemeteries in order to protect them from trespassers and refuse dumping.