… No we seized 48 caskets – Council chairman
Crisis brewed between the Nsukka Local Government Area and Casket traders yesterday over the actual number of caskets seized as the council makes a deft move to relocate casket sellers in the University town.
This is coming after staff of the local government raided shops belonging to casket dealers around Bishop Shannahan hospital mortuary and demolishing shops and impounding some caskets having refused to relocate to the approved location allocated to them by the council.
The casket sellers association accused the local government of impounding 200 caskets of its members but the chairman of the council, Chief Patrick Omeje who spoke with Daily Times on phone said 48 and not 200 caskets were seized by his men.
Speaking with journalists, Mr. Benson Asogwa Chairman Casket Dealers Association, Nsukka accused the council of not giving them enough time before invading their shops at night to demolish their properties.
“We are yet to carry out a comprehensive inventory of what we lost but I can authoritatively tell you that the council carried away not less than 200 caskets and machines from our shops, ’’ he said.
“We have identified the chief security officer of the council, Mr. Uche Eze as the one who led the operation with support of some police officers and Nsukka neighbourhood watch.
According to Asogwa, “The CSO and his group came with three trucks to carry out the demolition between 11pm to 1am.
In a swift reaction, the Chairman of the Council, Chief Patrick Omeje said, “48 caskets were presently in the custody of the council adding that the relocation process started about four years ago.
“There is bye law asking them to move away from the place to somewhere around the timber shed which was approved for them. Patients who come to the hospital are always scared at the sight of caskets on display”.