Anambra: Lawmakers Or Newsmakers. Comr Harris Chuma

It is incumbent upon traditional institutions, and particularly the Anambra Traditional Rulers Council to reconcile Igbo culture, traditions, and christianity. In this modern day, we can have both. But, in Anambra It appears the entire state is
subjected to the dictates of the new “Christian” burial laws as presntly framed by the Anambra State House of Assembly. Yes, I termed it “Christian” burial laws because everything about the law appears biblical, and canonized. It is unfortunate that Anambra lawmakers have been busy framing the controversial “Christian” burial laws without any contributions,views and opinions aggregated from the supposedly constituencies they represent.

I think there’s a general feeling of unease, fear about the state of our romance with the tradition, custom, and our cultural historicism.
Unequivocally, many citizens have been deluged with the misadventures of certain revered clergymen who are meddling almost always in Anambra politics and governance processes. I have also noticed more citizens expressing an interest about government’s patronage as Christian religious beliefs and doctrines supersede, and rules over the people, no thanks to western influence on our psyche. Regrettably, today, we are stocked with the characters we have produced, elected and imposed on ourselves, crop of lawmakers who are feared to be more answerable and accountable to the clergy or certain congregations of ndi “holy ghost fire, fire, fire”and “ndaboski paloski”.

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A certain lawmaker had once told me that when he had the chance, he would try to make a difference and would do something for his constituents. Today, he was mute while the “Christian” burial laws are discussed. This lawmaker has been busy taking selfies at the chambers. Even when the new burial bills were argued at the floor of the house, my very good friend kept nodding his head like a deaf and dump. He loves making news, making waves, enjoys publicity and can spend thousands on data just to be online posting his selfies.
Never asked himself “what could I do as a state rep? He does not know that he could do a lot more and won’t have to jump through so many hoops and not hear anything.

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Unfortunately, the lawmakers do not consult their constituencies before voting on a bill at the Chambers. How could one explain it, that a bill on burial rites which borders on tradition, customs and beliefs of a people will be hastily executed by the lawmakers without due consultations from the constituencies they represent? How could one explain the rationale behind the unpopular approach and methodology deplored in addressing the issues relating to burial rites in the state? Why would the lawmakers conclude that poverty breeds in Anambra leading to inability to accord befitting burial to loved ones? Why would the lawmakers jettison the traditions of Umuada, umunna, traditional religion, and termed it flamboyancy? Why would the church have more interest in the burial rites, and the traditional religion relegated, and considered obsolete?

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If the lawmakers had organized town hall meetings in their respective constituencies, perhaps, a better framework for the new burial laws would been expressly obtained, and clinically executed without the media controversy. However, media should continue to always provide nonpartisan fiscal advice, and impartial analysis to enlighten and inform Anambra lawmakers and the public.

Injuries are relatively minor when they happen to somebody else. But when it happens to your child or grandchild, it’s very serious.


Ogene Igbo

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