Nigeria: Firewood Scarcity Delays Burial of Corpses, Says Muslim Community

Kaduna, Nigeria - The Muslim community in Kaduna on Friday decried the persistent scarcity of firewood in the metropolis, saying it was causing serious delay in burying corpses.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that firewood is arranged to cover graves after the remains of dead persons had been lowered.

Some philanthropists usually stock the firewood in large quantities at the various grave yards as alms for use in burying the corpses.

The Chief Imam of Bachama Road Juma'at Mosque in Tudun Wada area of Kaduna, Malam Musa Abubakar, complained of the scarcity of the commodity in a programme on a Kaduna-based FM radio station.

Abubakar urged the state government to the lift ban on the supply of firewood to consumers in the metropolis.

"The scarcity of the commodity has made it difficult for us to bury corpses at the yard," he said, adding that the scarcity, which had hit most parts of the state, had imposed additional difficulties on bereaved families.

He appealed to the government to arrest the situation as people might begin to abandon corpses, adding and that some 20 corpses were being buried daily at the Bachama Road cemetery in the Tudun Wada ward of the Kaduna South Local Government Area.

Meanwhile, consumers have decried the increasing cost of firewood as its cost had tripled within the last one week.

Firewood dealers have attributed the scarcity to the ban by the state government on the supply of the commodity.

They also alleged that the ongoing street clearing and the demolition of illegal structures had displaced many vendors, thereby causing difficulties to their customers.

However, the government had in a swift reaction, refuted the accusation, saying that the scarcity was deliberately created by the dealers to maximize their profits.

"We did not impose any ban on the sale of the commodity in the metropolis. The scarcity is deliberately created by the dealers to tarnish the image of the present administration," the state Commissioner for Environment, Dr Yusuf Aliyu, said.