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21 Mar 2020

Monarchs, Residents Kick As Government Brings 110 Unknown Corpses To Be Buried In Ondo Community

Residents of Ikare Akoko, the headquarters of the Akoko North East Local Government Area of Ondo State, have rejected the decision of the state government to bury over 100 abandoned corpses in the community.
It was learnt that the corpses were brought to the town by health officials of the state government from different parts of the state without prior knowledge and consent of the people of the community.

A member of staff of the Ikare General Hospital, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the corpses were abandoned in some government hospitals in the state and there was a directive from the state Hospital Management Board to give the corpses a mass burial.

He said. “They (the corpses) are to be buried on the premises of the local government secretariat, Ikare Akoko.”

To this end, a resident of the town, who identified himself as Kareem, told our correspondent that the corpses were brought to the town in three official ambulances of the state government from General Hospital, Iwaro Oka, State Specialist Hospital, Owo and State Specialist Hospital, Ikare Akoko.

“This is an unacceptable act by the state government, we will reject it,” he added.

The Caretaker Chairman of Akoko North-East Local Government, Mr Asimi Omojola, said he was not in the office when the corpses were moved to Ikare for burial.

He explained that an official of the Ondo State Health Management Board contacted him, saying there was a directive from the government to the council chairman to provide land for the burial of the bodies. “I ordered the return of the corpses to where they brought them from,” he stated.

The two traditional rulers of the town, the Olukare of Ikareland, Oba Akadiri Momoh, and the Owa-Ale of Ikareland, Oba Kolapo Adegbite-Adedoyin, described the development as strange.

Momoh said such act would not be accepted in any way in the community as it was contrary to the traditional values of Ikareland, noting that the community was not carried along before government took such decision.

Similarly, in his own reaction, Oba Adegbite-Adedoyin said he was not in town when the corpses were brought.

He stated that he immediately invited the chairman of the local government for briefing, noting that Ikare people would not allow the corpses to be buried on their land as it could lead to traditional crises and abominable incidents.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Wahab Adegbenro, confirmed the development, stating that he was unaware that the residents of the town rejected the burial arrangement.

He added, “There are some corpses lying there for many years and the government cannot continue to keep them. That is why we ordered the mass burial to take place but I will have to inquire why the residents of the town rejected the move.”

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