Kwara State cemeteries are reportedly being regularly violated by robbers and scavengers targeting dead bodies for mutilation and theft of choice parts.
The supposed criminals and practitioners of rituals these days go for select body parts such as genitalia, skulls, heart, liver and whatever else they may fancy in decomposing bodies.
In Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, digging up fresh graves in search of select human parts has become a daily occurrence. The dead are continually violated in their resting places by ritualists.
Guardian reports that Muslim cemeteries at Oseere and public cemeteries at Oke-Oyi, a sleepy settlement adjoining Ilorin from the east, are the worst hit.
A source in Ilorin reports that; after taking the remains of a brother to the cemetery early this month and laying him to rest according to the Islamic rites, they returned two days after to put concrete on the tomb and were surprised to meet a dismembered body outside the grave.
Another source narrates: “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.”
Dr. Olusola Ajolore, a former Secretary of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has urged the government especially local councils, to intensify efforts at providing adequate security at the cemeteries in Kwara State.
Ajolore laments that apart from profaning the cemeteries, the act should be seen as criminal and ungodly. He advocates the need for more security at the cemeteries to stem the vice.
In the same vein, the Chief Imam of Ilorin, Alhaji Mohammed Bashir cautioned “those directly or indirectly” stealing from the cemeteries to refrain “as such would not escape God’s judgment in the long run even if law enforcement agents fail to arrest them and bring them to book.”
Meanwhile, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Kwara, Ajayi Okasanmi has said no such report has been brought to their knowledge.
Okasanmi, however, urged members of the public to volunteer information to the Police on the vice just as he threatened that local security guards employed to keep watch may henceforth be prosecuted for any recorded theft at the cemeteries.