Another call has been made by concerned residents in Ikorodu, to the Chairman of Ikorodu Local Government, Hon. Wasiu Adeshina, over the state of the Atan Cemetery, the official burial ground that is being managed by the council.
Among those that made the appeal is His Eminence Fadhilat Sheikh Yahya Olorunosebi Oshoala, Chief Imam, Oriwu Central Mosque, who charged the council on the need to ensure that the final resting place for the dead is properly rehabilitated.
THE IMPACT can authoritatively recall that the rehabilitation of the cemetery by Hon. Adeshina started when he was the Executive Secretary of the council, about seven years ago. Since that time till date, the only visible project done is the rehabilitation of the cemetery fence.
Aside the fact that tombs are covered with weeds and there is no proper arrangement for burying of the dead, the place is always in darkness which has caused perpetrators of nefarious activities to carry out their evil acts by exhuming corpses for whatever purposes.
One of the notable national and international figures buried at the cemetery was Prof. Ayodele Awojobi who died in 1984, at the age of 47. His tomb, which is close to the security house at the main entrance gate, is also covered with weeds like others.
The wife of one of the deceased buried at the cemetery recently, Alhaja Oshitade, confirmed to the Chief Imam while the interment of her husband was ongoing, that the they paid over N200, 000, to get permission to bury the deceased.
Sheikh Oshola, speaking at the graveside of late Alhaji Oshi expressed dismay at the state of the cemetery, and urged the Ikorodu Local Government authority to ensure that the place that they are collecting money from people to bury their loved ones, is properly preserved.
“The family burying their dead one here today paid over N200, 000, to the Council before they could be allowed, but look at everywhere in the cemetery bushy and unkempt”, the Islamic leader said.
“Since they had rehabilitated the fence, we begged them to also do the needful with the cemetery.
“You are asking people not to bury their dead ones at home, and you did not take care of the existing burial ground or provide a new one, how is that possible? May God guide you aright, but remember that we will all give account of our actions.
“God will ask all of you that are pocketing the money meant for the rehabilitation of the burial ground, and it is important for you to turn a good leaf and do the right thing”, Sheikh Oshoala urged the council authority.
Some of the family members and sympathisers at the cemetery for the burial, also shied the council for the neglect of the resting place for the dead, and urged the council to act with urgency in putting the place in proper shape.
Attempts to reach the Council Chairman, Hon. Wasiu Adeshina, for his reaction over the matter, proved abortive. But when we called the Chief of Staff to the Chairman, Mr Tosin Mabunmi, he said that the Chairman is out of the country on seminar with other council bosses.
When told about the request by the respected Islamic scholar,over the cemetery, Mabunmi said that the council has been working on the cemetery, and that there is plan to upgrade it to a modern facility.
“The Chairman has been working on it, and he is still on it. The plan is to do something like the Ikoyi Cemetery through partnership”, Mabunmi said.