. . Berates EEDC, Leaders, Institutions
. . . Supports Anambra State Law against Expensive Funerals
By Ifeoma Ezenyilimba
As part of his consistent campaign for the betterment of the lives of the masses, the auxiliary bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Jonas Benson Okoye, has berated the leaders in various positions of authority, the Enugu Electrical Development Company (EEDC) and educational institutions, especially the tertiary institutions against what he described as their uncalled for attitudes of multiplying the sufferings of the people.
Bishop Okafor, who stated this in his homily of the concelebrated Holy Mass for the 2019 Annual Chrism Mass and Cathedraticum of Ekwulobia Catholic Region, at St Joseph’s Pro-Cathedral Church, Ekwulobia, Aguata L.G.A, Anambra State on April 15, 2019, observed that in the current difficult state of Nigeria, there was need for the leaders and service providers to make the lives of the masses easier.
The bishop flayed the EEDC, who were saddled with the responsibility to make electricity supply available for the people, for what he described as the service provider’s act of criminality, saying that they extort money from the people for services not rendered. He called on the traditional rulers and the President Generals (PGs) of the communities, to come up and demand for community metering for each of the community.
Bishop Okoye noted that with the community metering, the people would share the money among themselves so as to lessen the burden of the high estimated bills of light not supplied, and put an end to extortion on the part of EEDC.
He wondered why the EEDC would not provide prepaid meters which its provisions had long been made for the entire masses.
The bishop, who also decried the extent at which he said the higher institutions overburden the parents of the students, noted that there was no need for Post UME after the JAMB examination. According to him, ‘Post UME is another form of extortion. Our people are already suffering, and we must learn how to show concern to them, not to multiply their sufferings.
Bishop Okoye, who gave his support to the bill recently passed by the Anambra State House of Assembly against expensive funerals, said there was need for people to unbundle themselves from what he described as the waste they indulge in, in the name of burial and funeral ceremonies.
Citing some instances in other countries and states, the very humane bishop said, ‘In Italy, there is an existing law to bury the dead within 72 hours. In some dioceses in Nigeria, they gave two weeks for the burial and funeral for the dead. But in Awka Catholic Diocese, it is regrettable that some people still complain over the two months grace.
He continued, ‘Once dead, let the dead be buried. No need for one to wait till when he accumulates massive wealth to waste in burial ceremonies. Instead, let the living be taken good care of.
The bishop, who advised the masses to abide by the law so as to put an end to expensive burial for a better living, observed that in other countries, people dispersed after burial ceremonies. He wondered why in Nigeria, and in Igbo Land in particular, people stayed back and engaged in wasteful parties after burials.
Similarly, the Bishop of the Holy Catholic Church, Most Rev. Peter Ebere Okpaleke, in his homily of the concelebrated Holy Mass for the 2019 Annual Chrism Mass and Cathedraticum of Nimo Catholic Region, at Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Church, Nimo, Njikoka L.G.A, Anambra State on April 17, 2019, kicked against wasteful funerals.
Bishop Okpaleke, who also gave his nod to the bill recently passed by the legislature, thanked God that the campaign which the Catholic bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor led in 2017, for the need to take good care of the living, and not to celebrate people only when they were dead, has gained the support of the Anambra State House of Assembly.
He stressed the need for all to bear one another’s burden as well as take proper care of their parents, family members and friends when they were alive, and not to wait for their death to celebrate them, and build new houses for the funeral ceremony.