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Cross River community vows to start funeral rites without Wayas’ remains

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The Bassang Nation in the Obanliku Local Government Area of Cross River State has threatened to begin the traditional burial rites for former senate president, Dr Joseph Wayas, with or without his remains.

The community had given a two-week ultimatum to the authorities to repatriate the corpse from a London morgue where it was deposited over two years ago after his death.

They took this decision on 2nd February 2024, following their extraordinary meeting held on the way forward for the burial of the former senate president.

According to a communique signed by President and Secretary of Bassang Nation Union, Hon Sylvanus Anyawho and Mr Isaac Henyete, the two weeks ultimatum had expired on 14 February 2024.

“We’ve waited for two years for late Wayas’ remains to be brought to us for burial. After several fruitless meetings both at home and in Abuja, we’re left with no other option than commence the traditional rites.

“Bassang Nation will meet again on second week of April 2024 to agree on a day for the final burial rite for our late son and leader either with or without the corpse,” they said.

They called on the first son of the deceased, Joe Wayas jr, to take responsibility for the repatriation of his father’s remains for burial in his ancestral home.

They insisted that it would be sacrilegious to bury Wayas’ remains outside his home.

“To us, it is sacrilegious to bury our dead outside our ancestral home else dire consequences await anybody or group of persons who will contemplate in their wildest imagination to do so.

“We, therefore, demand for his remains to be brought home and laid to rest in his home town in line with our custom and tradition,” they added.

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