In Ilorin, Kwara State capital, digging up fresh graves in cemeteries in search for selected human parts has become a daily occurrence that “Rest in peace” and “Sleep on beloved” often engraved on tombstones have become meaningless as the dead are violated in their resting place by ritualists.
Sources told The Guardian, Muslim cemeteries at Oseere and public cemeteries at Oke-Oyi, a sleepy settlement adjoining Ilorin from the east, are the worst hit.
“We took the remains of a brother to the cemetery early this month and laid him to rest according to the Islamic rites. But when we returned to the grave two days after with the aim of putting concrete on the tomb, to our surprise we met a dismembered body outside the grave,” a source told The Guardian in Ilorin.
Another source said: “At Oke-Oyi, we went to pray at the tomb of our departed mother barely a year after her death only to see bits of the wooden casket on the tomb rather than inside the grave suggesting that some people might have tampered with the remains after burial.”
Former Secretary of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Dr. Olusola Ajolore urged the government especially local councils, to intensify efforts at providing adequate security at the cemeteries in Kwara State.
According to Ajolore: “Apart from profaning the cemeteries, the act should be seen as criminal and ungodly. But we need more security at the cemeteries to stem the vice.”