•Say the law is animalistic
By Timi Black
The Ijaw People’s Development Initiative, IPDI, Comrade Ozobo Austin, a foremost Niger Delta rights activist and Delta Ijaw Comrade community have threatened to challenge the law by Burutu legislative arm to prohibit night burial and wake-keep in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta state, adding that the law is animalistic, controversial, divisive, defective and inimical as it was meant to invade Ijaw most cherished tradition.
The Ijaw rights groups said Burutu Local Government Council lawmakers lacked power to abolish Ijaw tradition by legislation, noting that issues of Ijaw tradition can’t be determined by few lawmakers in Burutu Local Government Area as Ijaw cuts across nine states of the federation.
Speaking to newsmen in Warri, Comrade Ozobo described the law as frivolous, mischievous, baseless and barbaric, stressing that it was promoted by mediocre and kindergarten lawmakers who lack mentorship on lawmaking.
“The law which said the rich should attend day burial and the poor can attend night burial is divisive. It should be noted that the rich is not under any compulsion to attend night burial in Ijaw land. So what is the motive behind the law, what does the law stands to achieve?” Ozobo queried.
The Ijaw born foremost activist said the law which witnessed open hearing and subsequent signing to law on Thursday by the executive chairman of the Burutu LGA, Godknows Angele, will freeze the rights of the Ijaw people, maintaining that night funeral is a long standing tradition of the Ijaw people and can’t be overriden by a mere local legislation and not even by the national assembly.
Acccording to the activist, there has not been any security challenge in night funerals in Ijaw nation to have intervened by some local busy body lawmakers who do not understand the business of lawmaking.
Ozobo said the law is needlessly as night funeral is done by discretion of people in Ijaw land, noting that no one is under any obligation to conduct night funeral which to have been prompted legislation.
“It is insanity for anyone to think that stopping night burial will serve as a solution to increase level of promiscuity and immorality in the society”, Ozobo averred.
He reiterated: “those who want night burial and others who want day burial should be at liberty to do so, as it is experienced in Ijaw land today”.
The Comrade leader said that it was only in Banana republic that someone will think of using legislation to abolish a tradition, asserting that Burutu lawmakers should retrace their steps.
Ozobo further said that night funeral being a tradition across Ijaw land in nine states of the Nigeria federation can’t be upturned by any local legislation by lawmakers in a single local government area in Delta state.
He condemned the action of the Burutu Local Government Council Chairman, Hon. Angele Godknows for immediately signing the bill into law without any wide consultation, stressing that despite it was signed into law it remained frivolous, mischievous and will be challenged in the court.