Even without Wayas’s body, the Cross River community has vowed to begin funeral ceremonies

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Dr. Joseph Wayas’s traditional burial ceremonies, with or without his bones, will be initiated by the Bassang Nation in the Obanliku Local Government Area of Cross River State.

The authorities were issued a two-week ultimatum by the community to return the body from a London morgue, where it had been kept for more than two years after he died.

They reached this conclusion on February 2, 2024, after an exceptional meeting to discuss the next steps for the former senator’s funeral.

The two-week ultimatum was reportedly lifted on 14 February 2024, as stated in a statement signed by Mr. Isaac Henyete and Hon. Sylvanus Anyawho, the president and secretary of the Bassang Nation Union, respectively.

Wayas’s body has been here for two years, and now we finally get to lay him to rest. Now that we’ve tried multiple meetings in Abuja and at home without success, we have to start the customary rites.

“The Bassang Nation will convene once more in the second week of April 2024 to determine a date for the last burial ceremony for our beloved son and leader, whether the body is present or not,” they announced.

They requested that Joe Wayas Jr., the first son of the dead, be the one to oversee the return of his father’s body for interment at the family graveyard.

They were adamant that laying Wayas’s body outside his home would be sacrilegious.

We consider it a sacrilegious act to lay our dead outside of our ancestral house, and we have severe punishment in store for anyone who even thinks about it.

“We, therefore, demand that his remains be returned to his home town so that they can be laid to rest in accordance with our custom and tradition,” they added.

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