A cleric, Yohanna Buru says most Nigerians lacked respect for the dead, as cemeteries have been turned to refuse dump sites and were often covered with pet bottles.
Mr Buru, a pastor of Christ Intercessory Fellowship, Sabon Tasha, Kaduna, said this while briefing newsmen after a tour of some cemeteries in Kaduna.
According to him, it is unfortunate that citizens have stopped respecting the serenity of the graveyards which supposed to be a clean and sacred environment and not dump site.
“Citizens should be God fearing and remember that, they are all going back to the cemeteries one day.
“Many cemeteries in Nigeria are in poor and bizarre conditions as most of them have turned out to be latrines, refuse dumps, hideouts for criminals and ritualists among other atrocities.
“The environment in some graveyards is not looking good due to the large number of pet bottles within and outside the premises.
“A graveyard must be properly secured and fenced to avoid trespass or encroachment to the premises, it is not a grazing site for animals or a place of smoking Indian hemp,” he said.
Mr Buru added: “The surrounding of most of the cemeteries are not good looking due to lack of sanitation by those in charge of the places.
“We must respect the dead more so when cemeteries hold great significance to communities across the country.”
He said that the cemeteries should be cleaned, adding that State and Local Government authorities must ensure that cemeteries were not turned into permanent refuse dump sites .
Mr Buru thanked the African Climate reporters on its selfless service toward raising public awareness on the dangers of throwing trash into sacred places like cemeteries.
He called on environmental officers to start creating public awareness on the cleaning of sacred places and the environment.
Gambo Abdullahi, a Muslim scholar, also condemned those using cemeteries as toilet grounds and asked them to stop the habit.
Mr Abdullahi, a member of Peace Revival and Reconciliation Foundation of Nigeria, a Non Governmental Organisation, NGO, said that there was need to carry out regular cleaning of cemeteries to keep them clean.