By Samuel Oyadongha, Yenagoa
The people of the Otuasega community were last Thursday taken aback when a young man chose to organise his own funeral vigil before his demise. The action of the man, aged 29, identified as Donald Banono, was said to have caused a stir in the sleepy Ogbia settlement with the elderly staying away from the ceremony seen as abnormal.
It all started as a joke when this reporter received a phone call from a long time acquaintance who incidentally is a Roman Catholic priest from the area of the bizarre development.
At the venue,Â youths observed the wake keep with the supposed â€˜dead manâ€™ whose obituary posters were pasted at the arena. Music blared out from giant loud speakers mounted at the venue with bottles of local gin,Â popularly called ogogoro being passed round to those present.
The 29 year old school leaver said his supposed obituary party was a symbolic protest against the hardship faced by majority of the youths from poor background.
He noted with sadness that, â€œit is only when a man drops dead that relations come out to waste their money on the frivolities of organising burial, instead of providing assistance when the person needed their help. â€œI decided to organise my wake keep while alive. When you are alive nobody wants to help you but when you die relations and others will come and donate for burial,â€ he said.
A top government official from the area who spoke anonymously told Saturday Vanguard that he had to run away from the wake keep ground when the celebrant approached him for a handshake.