Erosion compelled Sonny Okosun’s burial in Lagos

By Austine ELEMUE
Evangelist Eze signing a condolence register at the late Sonny Okosuns’ Ogba residence
Evangelist Eze signing a condolence register at the late Sonny Okosuns’ Ogba residence

More facts have begun to emerge as to why the late Sonny Okosun, the music icon who died recently in the United States of America, was buried in his Ogba, Lagos residence instead of his native home in Edo state.

The chairman of Esan-Central Local Government Area of Edo State, Engr. Esoimeme, has revealed that in his native Edo State, where the late Okosun's home town- Ibore community is located, the rate of environmental degradation that erosion has wreaked and still wreaking on the sleepy town is deplorable. Addressing newsmen in Abuja, the council boss said that he came to the Nation's capital to draw the attention of policy makers with a view to correcting the situation.

According to him, he had come to deliver an SOS to the National Environmental Management Agency, NEMA, on the need for the Government to take urgent steps to remedy the situation, while decrying the neglect of the area, he told bewildered journalists that although the late Sunny Okosun was their son, he had no problem with the family's decision to bury him in Lagos instead of Ibore as tradition demands. His reason was that the corpses of loved ones buried in the community in the past were been exhumed by the effect of erosion.

In his words, “There are two towns in the Local Government Area where we have this major ecological problem. The first one is Ibore, the town where our son the late Sunny Okosun hails and which erosion has created a very big gully, about eighty feet deep. It has destroyed many houses. Our people bury their dead ones around their houses and the erosion has destroyed their resting places. Graves have disappeared and we see the bones of our dead ones washed up when it rains. It is very pathetic, so I do not really blame the late musician's family for deciding to bury him in Lagos. The same situation exists in Ewu. Many lives have been lost and property running into millions of naira lost to these erosions”.
According to him, “We are therefore appealing to the Federal Government and the agencies in charge, to please come to our aid. These problems are more than what we [as a Local Government Council] can shoulder.”

He went on to say, “These problems multiply with time, in the past, these gullies were the same size as small gutters, but over time, they have become so wide and deep. If the situation is not remedied now, it may consume towns and make them extinct. It's so bad that when it rains, the situation becomes worse and it has already washed away the only road that links the neighboring villages”.