A Bill to protect dead bodies and prohibit the desecration of human life passed second reading on Tuesday at the floor of the House of Representatives.
The Bill which is titled A Bill for an Act to prohibit the desecration of sanctity of Human Life and Dead Bodies in Nigeria (HB. 778), seeks among other things, to defend the sanctity and sacredness of human life and compel people to respect the dead.
While leading a debate on the general principles of the Bill, Hon. Rita Ojir representing Ajeromi/Ifelodun Federal Constituency of Lagos state, said “desecration of dead bodies should not be tolerated in any way.”
Speaking further, Ojir said all over the world, institutions which handle dead bodies, including the security outfits like soldiers, follow laid down rules on how they are to handle the dead.
According to her, “all religions have respect for the dead. Different religions, especially the monotheistic faiths, don’t accept any desecration of their own dead or the enemy’s dead.”
While supporting the Bill, Rep. Agbonayinman Johnson said the manner which Nigerians treat dead bodies will continue to place the country in bad light.
“It is difficult for Nigerians to be known for goods. I wonder how people would decide to make money from dead bodies, this is another form of corruption.
“Remember, we are all going to die one day so let us all support the Bill”, Agbonayinman submitted.
Another lawmaker, Dr. Henry Archibong from Akwa Ibom state, spoke in favor of the bill, saying the law, when passed, will protect the sanctity of life.
“In the modern day Nigeria, a lot of people are into selling of dead peoples’ bodies, some are even exhumed, dismembered and sold or used for all kinds of rituals. If the Bill is passed into law, it will take care of such acts,” Archibong added.