By The Evangelist News edition, Sunday, December 31, 2023. Admin.
Amid the controversy over the burial of former Senate President, Dr. Joseph Wayas, the paramount ruler of Obanlikwu community in Cross River State, His Royal Majesty, Dr Uchua Amos Uyumulam, has said the community’s traditional rites forbid burial the outside the community.
According to him, “We don’t bury the dead outside our community,” highlighting the significance of adhering to established customs.
Uyumulam said, “As I speak, I do not have a clear picture of whether Wayas had been buried or not; it is yet to be known. By our own tradition in Obanlikwu, we don’t bury the dead outside our community.”
He emphasised the need for a thorough investigation to determine the truth, dismissing hearsay.
Amid rumours suggesting that Joseph Wayas Junior (the first son of the deceased) may have buried him secretly, the paramount ruler clarified that allegations should not be placed on an individual without being proven guilty.
He stated, “When we know exactly what transpired, we will take measures, irrespective of wherever he is staying, even if he is staying in London. We have a way of bringing him back home.”
The late Senate President’s son, Joseph Wayas Junior, has been reported to have potentially buried his father in London instead of the ancestral home of Dr Joseph Wayas. Wayas passed away at the age of 80 on November 30, 2021, and reports indicate that his remains are currently in a London morgue.
Meanwhile, there has been a lingering family feud between Wayas’ children.
The late senator’s wife, Catherine Ishiaka Ayim, has reportedly approached the court to secure legal authority in managing the family’s affairs after the death of the first wife, Mary Abiola Aina Wayas.
Catherine expressed concern about potential exclusion and asserted her right to the estate due to her long years as his wife. She refuted claims of soliciting money for the late politician’s burial.
Former governor Ben Ayade was said to have approved N250m for Wayas’ burial, but the money appears to have disappeared, fueling the dispute.
Meanwhile, efforts to reach Chief Kanu Agabi SAN who headed the Wayas Burial Committee set up by Ayade have not yielded desired results.