Catholic Bishop of Nnewi diocese, Most Rev. Hilary Okeke has decried excessive spending during burials despite the existing laws prohibiting such excesses.
Anambra State House of Assembly had exactly two years ago, passed a bill to stop expensive funerals in the state. Before the bill was passed, communities held funerals for at least three days.
Speaking on Monday at the burial mass of Lady Ifeoma Echendu in Nnewi, the industrial city of the state, Okeke who was represented by Rv. Fr. Michael Iwuchukwu blamed the ugly trend on propensity to extravagance of average Nigerians.
He said, “The morality has been thought many times and at different occasions by the church. Yet people are still doing what they like. We can’t force it on anybody, neither can we coerce them with Police except they accept it as reality.
“It’s just like the funeral brochure. It has no second significance because the church has a book for funeral rites, beautifully made for that. Yet people go ahead to print theirs.
“All we need to do is to keep appealing to the hearts and consciences of our people to ensure the law is implemented.”
The first vice president, Knight of St. John International, Mr. Emeka Okoli, extolled the exemplary life of the deceased during her earthly sojourn, praying those alive would emulate her lifestyle.
“From the testimony of priests and villagers, she lived a fulfilled life, touching many lives. People who knew her know she’s a true replica of what St. John International stood for,” he said.
On her part, Mrs. Patricia Maduabum who spoke on behalf of Soroptimist International, a humanitarian Non-governmental organization, said the deceased was one of the pioneer members who assisted greatly in adding value to the lives of the downtrodden.
While condoling with the bereaved family, she prayed God to grant them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
The deceased daughter, Dr. Ogechukwu Echendu described the mother as a great woman and motivator who lived a great life of impact.
“You were a mother to all who inspired and helped countless individuals. You were my motivation, mentor and support system. You always seem to know what’s wrong before I say it,” she added.