Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
Authorities of Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State have expressed concern over strange deaths in the council in recent times, as the number of deaths and burials have surged to 50 within three weeks in various cemeteries across the council area.
A source close to the biggest cemetery in the city, the Zaria road cemetery, revealed that the number of death brought for burial in the past three weeks have suddenly increased, and giving the attendance a serious concern.
A grave digger said, “we don’t know the cause of the deaths but we are worried that the number has recently increased. In the past three weeks the rate at which bodies are brought here for burial has doubled compared to the previous times. This afternoon alone we have buried five persons, we may still burry more.”
He placed the figure at 50 in the past three weeks.
The Chairman of the local government, Hon. Shehu Bala Usman, who confirmed the surge in the number of deaths in the area, said, “What you observed is true; right now we have opened a register in all the cemeteries within the local government. In the past, it has been a tradition that corpses must be registered with appropriate authority before burial, but these days people don’t follow the protocol again.
“What we do now is to open register at the cemetery so that corpses are registered before they are buried. This will enable us to evaluate what is happening, before we can establish that there is a mysterious death in a large scale; there must be data and indices to back up the claim. We would look at the present figure and compare it to the previous ones.”
On COVID pandemic, Usman said the council has stepped up its awareness campaign and has taken it to the ward level since it has become community issue and requires a change of attitude.
He added that the council has not relented in supporting the state government’s effort at curtailing the pandemic