By: Oluwatosin Adesola
There is a palpable apprehension as fear has gripped the people of the ancient town of Ikare Akoko in Akoko North East Area of Ondo state over the relocation of of over 110 unknown corpses/dead bodies to the town for burial.
SUNSHINETRUTH exclusively learnt that the corpses were brought to the town by health officials of the Ondo state government from different parts of the state without prior consent from community leaders and the local government’s authorities.
The corpses were imported to the town with three official ambulances of the State Government from General Hospital, Iwaro Oka, State Specialist Hospital, Owo and State Specialist Hospital, Ikare Akoko.
Confirming the development to SUNSHINETRUTH, the Caretaker Chairman of Akoko North East local government, Hon Asimi Omojola, said he was not in the office when the corpses were moved to Ikare for burial inside the local government’s Secretariat.
Pix: one of the buses used to carry the corpses for mass burial in Ikare.
Omojola said, an official of the Ondo State Health Management Board (HMB) contacted him, saying there was a directive from the state government for the council Chairman to provide land for the burial of the unknown dead bodies.
“I ordered the return of the corpses to where they brought them from, aside from the fact that it against the norms of Ikare land” the council boss said
Mrs Adeniyi Yemisi, Head of Environmental in Akoko North East local government, also confirmed the incident that she was unaware that unknown corpses will be seconded to the Local government secretariat premises for mass burial, though the idea is not in conformity with the ethic of her profession.
She said such mass burial without following proper ethical practice, could lead to environmental hazards.
The two traditional rulers of the town, Oba Akadiri Saliu-Momoh, Olukare of Ikareland and Oba Kolapo Adegbite-Adedoyin, Owa-Ale of Ikareland told SUNSHINETRUTH correspondent that the situation was strange and caught them unaware.
Oba Akadiri Momoh, said such act would not be accepted in anyway as it is contrary to the traditional values of Ikareland, noting that the community was not carry along before government took such decision.
Oba Adegbite-Adedoyin, said he was not town when the corpses were brought but on his returning, he immediately invited the Chairman of the local government for briefing, warning that Ikare people would not allow the corpses to be buried on their land as it could lead to traditional crises and abominable incidences.
“Therefore, such numbers of unknown corpses should not be brought to Ikare and it is against the tradition of the land as a traditionalist I state some dead bodies may be violent,some may died of some critical diseases which will have some effects on the whole community.
“But the issues need to be considered from various perspective apart from our own thought or imaginations,” the monarch said.
The Chief Medical Director Ikare State Specialist Hospital, Dr Ayodele Ogunlade said that some of the unknown corpses had been deposited at the mortuary of his hospital.
Ogunlade narrated that the dead bodies were abandoned corpses therefore the government considered it necessary to shared them to different locations in the state for mass burial.
The CMD stressed that Ore, Akure and Ikare were designated for the mass burial of the abandoned corpses, adding that it had no health implication as all the corpses had been treated with necessary chemicals.
It was gathered that the corpses are yet to be buried as at the time of this report.