News Rivers

COVID-19: Akpor king allegedly buried in cemetery by govt without family consent, members want his remains exhumed

The immediate family of the Late King of Akpor Kingdom, in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, His Royal Majesty, King Anele Orlu Oriebe, who was alleged to have died of Covid-19 has pleaded with the government of the state to release bones of the late king for proper burial in his kingdom.

It was reported that the state Ministry of Health in line with the Covid-19 protocol had buried the king at the cemetery without knowledge of the kingdom on the grounds that he was Covid-19 positive.

However, the family regretted that their father was buried by the government at the cemetery without their consent, adding that the king did not die of Covid-19 as claimed by the state government, rather as a result of accident complications.

Speaking, Elder Kingsley Kinika Orlu, head of the family and immediate elder brother to the late king, condemned the state government for burying the Akpor king in a shameful manner.

Kingsley stated that it was a taboo in Ikwerre land for a king to be buried outside his kingdom, calling on well-meaning individuals to prevail on the government to allow them excavate the grave of the king and pick some bones to conduct traditional burial rites.

He said: “We the immediate family of the king condemn the burial of our king of the government. This has not happened before in Ikwerre land.

“It is a taboo in Akpor that he is buried outside the community. It is taboo. We call on well-meaning Nigerians to help us to plead with the government. They should give us even if it is his bone so he can come back to his kingdom.

Kingsley claimed that the king did not die of Covid-19, stating that the act was an injustice against the Akpor kingdom.

“The king did not die of Covid-19. His death is as a result of accident he had in 2017. He went to the hospital that day on his own on Saturday but died on Monday.

“There was no rest carried out to prove that he had Covid-19. It was when he died that we saw three men who came to the mortuary to take his sample. We did not see the test result.

“The injust against our monarch is unbelievable. Even if it is his bone they should give us for burial. It is no longer speculation that he has been buried.”

He further regretted that Covid-19 team has not visited the family for contact tracing or testing, adding that contamination of the compound has not been carried out.

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