By Trevor Olakunle
49 days after burial, the corpse of Mr Ahmad Adekunle Abdulsalam, a staff of the College of Education, Oro in Irepodun local government area of Kwara State, who was struck dead by lightening was exhumed last Tuesday, and mysteriously, the body was found fresh.
It was promptly removed from the Christian cemetery and taken to the Muslim cemetery along Yidi Road where it was reburied according to Islamic rites.
On that fateful day, Abdulsalam, 47, a native of Ilesa in Osun State, was said to have dashed out of the Registry Department of the college, where he worked, to get a document in the Examination Office nearby during a down pour when he was struck by lightning and he died instantly.
After his death, traditional worshippers in the town were said to have insisted that, in order to avoid mysterious deaths in the victim’s family, his corpse must be buried without removing the clothes he was wearing when the tragedy struck, and some rites must be performed.
The traditionalists then requested for N100, 000 from the family for the rites, which was promptly paid.
Thereafter, the corpse was taken to the Muslim cemetery in Ilorin for burial but was rejected because His family members allegedly refuse to allow the dead body undergo prayer and washing in lslamic way.
The corpse was then buried at a Christian cemetery Okeose, Ilorin. But dissatisfied with the unceremonious burial of Abdusalam, on Saturday, almost one month after His burial, the llorin Muslim community signalled its readiness to exhume the corpse for reburial in Islamic way.
Speaking at the occasion, the Coordinator of llorin Muslim cemetery and a lecturer of lslamic studies at the University of llorin, Dr Abubakar Aliagan, said the prayer was necessary since the deceased died as a Muslim.
He furrther stated that ; “The brother we are reburying today was struck dead 49 days ago by lightning during a downpour and traditionalists were brought in because, according to Yoruba belief, which became the domineering factor during this period, that some traditional rituals must be performed on him, which they did. “And we Muslims insisted that he should be buried according to Islamic rites. He was taken to an unknown place where he was buried and since then we have been on it.
We must say that we received the cooperation of the police. They gave us the necessary papers for the exhumation. Pathologists at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital rejected our request to carry out the exhumation following which the Kwara State Health Commissioner took the matter up and everybody cooperated.
“We earlier had problem identifying the grave where this brother was buried. We appealed to those who initially buried him to show us the place, but our appeal fell on deaf ears. But as God would have it, where he was buried was the Christian cemetery.
So, after some examinaation, we found out where He was buried.
“As you know that there is Nigerian factor in everything, So, those who buried him initially were not ready to show us the exact grave, their belief is that if they pinpointed the grave, there was the likelihood that they too would be struck by lightning and die.
They called this ‘akufa’, so they were afraid. None of the members of the family who witnessed the burial cooperated with us.
“But as Allah would have it, they showed us the area. So, we went into action and the action produced the exact grave we were looking for.
We then alerted those who would exhume it for us. “We wanted to bury him around 7am because we believed the body must have decomposed. But when the corpse was exhumed, we found out that the body was fresh and intact.
So, we decided to delay the burial till 10am so as to attract more people to come and see and witness that Allah preserved the body of this man despite all the noise surrounding his death.
“Initially, there was resistance due to the fact people believe, according to the traditionalists, that they would die. But, according to Islam, we shouldn’t entertain such fear. So, it is that strong faith that we preached to our fellow Muslims.
This is how we discovered the grave and met his body intact and fresh after exhumation, None of his body part ever decompose and we did prayers as was demand by Islam before the Reburial.