The Anambra State House of Assembly on Wednesday passed a bill to stop expensive funerals in the state.
The bill, which was sponsored by the representative of Anaocha II Constituency, Charles Ezeani, now makes it an offence to hold funerals for more than one day in the state.
Before the bill was passed, communities held funerals for at least three days.
Ezeani said, “The Burial/Funeral Control Bill is aimed at cutting down the cost of burials in the state.”
The bill says in the event of death “no person shall deposit any corpse in the mortuary or any place beyond two months from the date of the death, while burial ceremonies in the state shall be for one day”.
The bill makes it an offence to destroy property, fire gunshots, block roads during funerals in the state.
The bill also says “no person shall subject any relation of a deceased person to a mourning period of more than one week from the date of the burial”.
It added that during funerals the family of the deceased “shall provide food for their kindred, relatives and other sympathizers at their own discretion.”
Ezeani told reporters that a monitoring and implementation committee would be set up by the Assembly to enforce the law after Governor Willie Obiano had signed it.
However, residents in the state have expressed divergent views on the new bills. A resident in Awka, Peter Anene told East west reporters that the law will only exist on paper, he said ‘’how can they live what they should be discussing and dive into traditional issues of the people? We have our village unions and if we feel we don’t need any law or culture we discuss it there and not for the assembly boys to just come and make statements. Also a traditional ruler in Dinukofia chief Vincent EZE described the law as a welcome development, he said a lot our children and kinsmen go to all length to give a befitting burial to their loved ones. Some borrow money, some sell land just to do burial so the law will serve as a guide.