The outbreak of Corona Virus pandemic in Rivers state since March 2020 has generated much controversy as many residents live in an absolute state of fear for the lost in the death of their loved ones and for the fact that breaking the laid down protocol of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Coronavirus Pandemic has removed their connection in giving befitting burial rites to the dead.
City People Magazine Bureau Chief(Port Harcourt) EMEKA AMAEFULA -+2348111813069 here reveals the controversial secret burials going on in Rivers state over COVID 19 Protocols compliance by indigenous citizens.
With the surging number of people testing positive for COVID 19 pandemic in Rivers state, the Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike in reaction to contain the spread came out with executive Order which restrict Rivers state residents and citizens from engaging in social activities involving large gathering of people. Again the Inter ministerial Committee on CORONA VIRUS being led by Pastor Paulinus Nsirim as Chairman came out with more restrictions against overcrowding. And the instruction to residents to report any outbreak of COVID 19 in their localities and urged them to patronize Government hospitals or designated Health centers if any of their citizens show symptoms of COVID 19 such as seizure of breath, cold or flu, fever and persistent coughing and other health challenges that might infect their close neighbours upon close contact. Markets and Motor parks were close down including hospitality outfits spread across the state leading to the demolition of two hotels in Eleme Local Government Area which were alleged to have defiled the government Executive Order.
But most worrisome is the compliance in COVID 19 Protocol as issued by the Presidential Taskforce Committee on Covid-19 which stated that in the eventuality whereby a resident dies after testing COVID 19 positive the remains shall be incremented or buried in public cemetery by the health workers after a member of the family must have signed to that effect. Here in Niger Delta region traditional burial rites has been used by the indigenous people as one of the social avenues to display wealth and class or successful celebration of the death of their loved ones. Others use such elaborate burial rites to show how they connect with their family roots and ancestors by performing several traditional dances and rituals as permitted by their cultural ethos with the belief that the dead will be pleased with them as they are accorded befitting burial rites as they enjoyed that of others while alive. First to be buried at Port Harcourt cemetery was a popular politician late Odiari Princewill the then Executive Chairman of Asari Toru Local Government Area. He was a community chief and Kalabari tradition has it that his corpse ought to have been accorded elaborate traditional burial rites. All efforts and pleas by the traditional institution to have his dead body exhumed and returned to Buguma city for formal burial ceremony were rebuffed by Governor Nyesom Wike.
Again, the Ikwerre Traditional kingdom suffered humiliation by having one of her first Class king of Akpor kingdom Eze Orube Adele being buried at public Port Harcourt cemetery against the tradition of Akpor ancient kingdom. The family members challenged the Government saying that the king died as a result of injuries he sustained in a ghastly auto crash he survived 2 years ago. But the government rejected such assertion insisting that the king died from COVID 19 pandemic. Rivers State Ministry of Health COVID-19 Rapid Response Team remains one of the closest agents of government that gets to the people at the grassroots with quicker action than any other established by the government.
In the light of this humiliation, majority of the residents in Rivers state now, quietly bury their loved ones secretly sometimes in the night without having to apply to Rivers State Governor for permission which will restrict the number of attendants to 50 persons and the phone numbers of the attendees must be attached to such request. And a staff of COVID 19 Pandemic Monitoring Team must attend such ceremony be it burial, marriage, or any other social ceremony involving 50 persons in attendance.
NAFCON FORMER MANAGING DIRECTOR OMBO ISOKRARI IS DEAD
The death of the flamboyant United States of America trained Chemical Engineer and Bishop Founder of a Pentecostal church that he pastored upon retirement is to be buried on 22nd of August, 2020. The senior citizen is well known of how he brought panache and glamour into National Fertilizer Company of Nigeria NAFCON ONNE in Rivers state even flying in Helicopter which most state governors cannot afford to use at that period. He in collaboration with chief Esinobi established SUN RAY Group of Newspapers, the first of West African Coloured tabloid with international Correspondents in major cities of the world. His political allegiance to Peoples Democratic party-PDP in 1999 earned him great respect as a member of the Board of Trustees -BoT member especially at a time when his sibling Chief Ebenezer Isokrari was contesting for Rivers state Governorship seat under the opposition political party the then All Peoples Party-APP.
BEKINBO SOBEREKON IS DEAD
The shocking death of Nigerian born United States of America trained Gas Engineer, Chief Bekinbo Soberekon has been announced and the reality of the cold hand of death is now being perceived to be real among Rivers state residents at a time Coronavirus pandemic is ravaging the entire globe.
In his lifetime, Chief Bekinbo Soberekon in 2003 came out and aspired to be elected as Governor of Rivers state under Peoples Democratic Party-PDP against the then incumbent Dr. Peter Odili. He introduced social Welfare policies which included Free Bus Services branded with his Governorship Campaign inscriptions “SOBEREKON FOR THE MASSES” which plied major streets of Port Harcourt. The light-complexioned handsome jovial socialite Chief Bekinbo Soberekon being a Kalabari High chief, may not be forgotten in a hurry in Rivers state as his criticism on major Gas Turbine projects of the then Governor of Rivers state earned a lot of respect and rejection among his political opponents.
PORT HARCOURT CELEBRITY LADY IBINABO HORSFALL RAMI DINA DIES
Wednesday, July 29th, 2020 was a day to be remembered by Port Harcourt celebrities as one of their own pretty looking and hardworking Ibinabo Horsfall Rami Dina died after a brief illness. Late lady IB as she was popularly called by her admirers was married to Lebanese born former Managing Director of Presidential Hotel Port Harcourt and she established a first-class Beauty Salon known as ITEM Salon and Fashion Boutique one of the first upwardly mobile unisex boutiques in South-South of Nigeria where the who is who in the Oil-rich city of Port Harcourt rushed to be updated fashion-wise. Late IB also was into the provision of high-class ornaments that adorned the necks, fingers and ankles of Port Harcourt celebrities.
She was the lady behind Arabian dress code attires that distinguished high-class babes from others yet to adorn such fabrics in town. Her personal appearances at several high octane parties’ ignited life into such social shenanigans as her dress codes actually became an item to watch as most ladies attend such parties with electronic gadgets just to snap, video and with pencils draw lady IB’s fashion and style outfits.
Her home front was so strong that late IB throughout her married life gave birth to two handsome boys and she, at a time relocated to Lagos where her business into ornaments gained prominence.
Many celebrities across Nigeria and abroad mourned her in death as Lady IB was most loved by all that met her throughout her life journey. Her father was a former Accountant General of Rivers state while her siblings Daye and Tonte are receiving condolences from friends and well-wishers. –