- Considered a sacred act In Tibet, sky burial is an ancient African custom of leaving a corpse out on mountain tops or forests for vultures
The recent turmoil in Ojah Community, Akoko Edo Local Government Area, involving the traditional ruler, HRM Oba D. S. Lawani, highlights a clash between traditional beliefs and contemporary practices. The catalyst for the unrest was the monarch’s opposition to a traditional “sky burial” ritual for a deceased woman, deemed a witch by some traditional worshippers.
The resistance led to violent confrontations, resulting in the razing of the palace, the monarch’s vehicle, and the residence of a government official.
Amid the chaos, Oba Lawani found himself in a precarious position, witnessing the destruction of his property while in hiding. Reflecting on the ordeal, he expressed a desire to mourn, likening his experience to a human need to release emotional tension. Despite the devastation, he emphasized a reluctance to seek revenge, choosing instead to focus on healing and reconciliation within the community.
“I was in a corner watching the people while they were pulling down my house, breaking everything. I was seeing all of them but they did not see me while they broke the vehicle down.
“I thank God I am okay, and as I speak with you now, I am outside the community. I am within the Igarra vicinity.
“In my community, we have it in an adage that if you beat somebody, you should allow the person to cry. The worst thing you can do to a person is after you beat him, you still warn him not to weep; what I am begging people now is that they should allow me to cry. He said.
Although calm is slowly returning to Ojah, scars from the violence remain visible. Calls from local monarchs and community leaders are uurging the government to ensure justice by apprehending those responsible for the arson and vandalism.
IMAGE: Ancient origins