HURIWA seeks British Commissioner’s intervention for befitting burial for Biyi Bandele
Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), yesterday, solicited intervention of the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, for a befitting burial for renowned film producer and novelist, Biyi Bandele.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, also urged the kind British commissioner to address concerns of members of the biological family of the deceased playwright, who demanded clarity on the controversy surrounding Bandele’s sudden demise last month in Lagos and the request for an autopsy before his burial if none exists yet.
The advocacy group said it received a letter on Sunday signed by a representative of the biological siblings of the late author, Modupe Bandele, wanting to ascertain what happened to their brother, Biyi, and why their cousin Mrs. Idowu Ibironke Ayinde in London has allegedly been ‘hiding’ his corpse from them.
“Even now that he’s dead, our cousin Mrs. Idowu Ibironke Ayinde in London allegedly deprived the two children of Biyi Korede Bandele Thomas and Temi Bandele Thomas from knowing us, also poisoning their minds against us thereby stopping them from communicating with us.
“So please we (the biological siblings of Biyi) solicit your intervention concerning this matter so we could know the whereabouts of the corpse of our brother, to give him his last respect at the burial and to be united with the children,” the letter partly read.
Commenting, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said: “We urged the British High Commissioner, Her Excellency, Catriona Laing, to use her noble office to get to the root of the matter and the mystery surrounding the sudden and painful death of the renowned director of the iconic half of a Yellow Sun.
“HURIWA appeals to the high commissioner to intervene so the world’s renowned film producer and Novelist Biyi Bandele Thomas is given befitting burial by his biological siblings who sent us a mail and made calls alleging that one of their cousins in Britain is preventing them from knowing exactly how their brother who was a British citizen, but said to have died in Lagos died. They are asking the British government to order for an autopsy or if an autopsy has been done then the biological siblings be allowed access to the corpse.”
“We believe that this will go a long way in respecting the memories of the deceased going by his contributions to arts and human society. We are asking the British government to step in and know how their citizen died in Nigeria and also allow the biological siblings of the late international literary figure and Novelist receive the most esteemed final rites in accordance with the decision of the family.”