There has been an age long habit among Nigerians in different parts of the country to organise expensive funerals. In some instances, loans are secured in addition to the bereaved family members being over-burdened with multiple financial and material demands.
Neighbourhoods are subjected to bewildering human and vehicular traffic as well as noise and other forms of pollution for the duration of the event that is usually regarded as a befitting farewell for the departed loved one.
Money, items, time and other logistics that ought to have been deployed into tackling multiple tasks are plunged into a single one that would have been made less expensive.
New Telegraph notes with dismay that such recklessness leaves the society as huge losers and helps institutionalize socioeconomic and political retrogression with individuals being unable to save money to maximally discharge their vital obligations. Education, medication and businesses of family members have been compromised due to the deployment of massive funds into actualisation of expensive funerals.
We make bold to say that no normal society can afford to gloss over such avoidable absurdity, given its far-reaching negative consequences. Apart from the heavy financial demands on bereaved family members, the conduct of an expensive funeral time and again has the tendency of negatively influencing some individuals to regard the blunder as a trend worthy of emulation. This, therefore, helps perpetuate the concept of costly funerals in the psyche of the populace. New Telegraph is, however, pleased with the stand of some individuals to commit expensive funerals to the dustbin of history.
But the frowns of disapproval by persons in heterogeneous locations need to be harmonised into a well-coordinated single formidable opposition for results. While New Telegraph throws its weight behind the continued individual opposition to costly funerals, it also pushes for an overwhelmingly collective disapproval of financially guzzling funerals.
The persons who clamour for an end to expensive funerals were shaped by the different agents of socialisation and are still affiliated to them.
The referred agents of socialisation include the family units, places of worship, educational institutions, peer groups, neighbourhood associations, age-grade societies, town/ village association, old students/alumni associations, trade unions and professional bodies as well as traditional councils in different communities/towns. It behoves the individual members of the outlined agents of socialisation to consistently acquaint their colleagues with the negative consequences of expensive funerals. Such sensitisation would help increase the number of persons opposed to expensive funerals.
With the rise in the number of individuals displeased with the menace of costly funerals, it would not take long for the multitude of people to be on the same page regarding bringing the expensive funerals to an end.
We must commend some religious institutions which have enacted rules and regulations relating to the conduct of funerals. One of the components of the rules and regulations is that the funeral of a departed loved one must be conducted within a specific time-frame. In some instances, a bereaved family is allowed a window not exceeding two months within which to organise the rites of passage of their departed loved one.
This has produced the expected result as a bereaved family is compelled to organise the rites of passage within the limits of its lean resources. While some towns/communities and state governments have put in place customs and laws respectively to help make their indigenes key into the concept of organising modest funerals for their departed loved ones, some other communities/ towns and states remained bystanders without any impactful initiatives.
They should refrain from their docility to collaborate with the different agents of socialisation including the religious institutions, traditional groups in the different towns/communities so as to persuade non-complying citizens to be part of the paradigm shift from the concept of expensive funerals to that of modesty.
It stands logic on its hand for a family or any group to deploy massive funds into a funeral, when such ought to have been channelled into giving the departed loved one quality treatment and rehabilitation in first-class health facilities in Nigeria and the Diaspora.
The impression usually created by bereaved family members, relatives, wellwishers and friends is that the extent of expenditure is usually an indication of their profound love for the departed. This is erroneous. After all, the departed person is on a transition to the great beyond and will unlikely return to life to benefit from the eating and wining associated with his/ her funeral.
Where then is the expression of love, as claimed by family members, relatives, friends and well-wishers? We enjoin all stakeholders not to lower their guards in the mobilisation of opinions against the concept of expensive funerals. With sustained public disapproval of expensive funerals, the end of the menace is certainly as sure as daylight.