When you think of an elaborate celebration of someone who died at old age, the people of Idanre in Ondo state easily come to mind.

Funerals have always been like a fanfare in the hilly town with series of dexterous displays by the undertakers who are contracted for the movement of the corpse in casket.

But that's about to change. Rising from the traditional council meeting, the Owa of Idanre, Oba Fredrick Aroloye declared it offensive for any family in Idanre to publicly display the copse of their loved ones or embalm it for more than three days at home.

The monarch's order was contained in a statement issued through his press secretary, Ganiyu Agbelusi.

"It will be recalled that dancing precariously with coffin by undertakers had in recent times become a vogue in Idanre Kingdom while some people, probably out of ignorance of the inherent health risks, embalm their dead loved ones for a long time at home before burial.

"This is to make it known that this act shall no more be condoled in our kingdom. Anyone who flout this order shall be severely punished in line with the tradition of our kingdom no matter how highly placed he or she is" the statement read in part.

The new order seems not to have gone down well with some of the eminent sons of the town and the professional undertakers.

Lanre Akintelure, an Idanre based timber merchant questioned the rationale behind the decision.

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"I don't see anything wrong in the idea of celebrating our loved ones by dancing with the casket. People have been doing it from time immemorial and no evil thing has ever happened through it.

"So how can Kabiyesi wake up now and declare it an offense to honour our loved ones with street procession?

"If you are talking about a last respect for your father or mother, that is the last respect anyone can give.

"As I'm talking to you right now, my father has been in mortuary since middle of last month and we plan to bury him in September. This is part of our funeral program but we hope and pray the decision will have been reversed by then."

Also speaking on the effect of the decision was one of the undertakers in Idanre who confessed that the law will soon render them useless in the industry.

"Who will contract us when clients are already been told not to do street procession which is the high point of our activities?

"All they will do now is to get men who will just lift the casket to the hired ambulance. Undertakers are no more needed in Idanre funeral" he said.

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