Burial of human beings in houses or within residential premises is a common occurrence in developing countries. Despite the negative impacts it has on the social and economic lives of the people and society at large, particularly on public health, this norm has continued. However, this area has not been given adequate attention in recent scholarship. Against this backdrop, this article traces the development, appropriation, and misappropriation of burial sites and public cemeteries among the indigenous people of Egba land. It also examines the responses of the government to this phenomenon. This study was done through the use of archival sources, extant literature, media reports, pictographs, and interviews. The study reveals that the misappropriation of burial sites and cemeteries is a result of indigenous belief systems, illiteracy, inadequate lands for burial and cemeteries, cost and proximity of burial sites, and insecurity, among other things. It also finds that the few who appropriate burial sites and cemeteries were educated, enlightened, and averagely wealthy individuals, socially placed individuals. It recommends that governments at both state and local levels, particularly local levels that are vested with the maintenance of burial sites and cemeteries, should be strengthened to adequately appropriate cemeteries and burial sites in Egba land, south west Nigeria, like most indigenous people.
‘Oku Mi Ko Gbodo Sun Ita’: (Mis)Appropriation of Burial Sites and Public Cemeteries among Indigenous People of Egba, Southwestern Nigeria
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O. Olasupo Thompson, S. Abiodun Afolabi, Onyekwere George Felix Nwaorgu, Rebecca Remi Aduradola; ‘Oku Mi Ko Gbodo Sun Ita’: (Mis)Appropriation of Burial Sites and Public Cemeteries among Indigenous People of Egba, Southwestern Nigeria. Ethnic Studies Review 1 April 2020; 43 (1): 125–144. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/esr.2020.43.1.125
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