An interment ceremony in Abonnema, Akuku-Toru local government area of Rivers State turned violent over the weekend as two families from the Oruwari-Briggs family clashed over a chieftaincy title.
As mourners gathered to pay their last tribute to chief Ibim Iyibo Briggs, his kinsmen raided the venue and tore clothing used to cover the deceased.
The rival families who laid claims to the chieftaincy stool which the late Briggs occupied stormed attacked the corpse of the late chief, tearing his clothes, forcing sympathizers scampering for safety.
They claimed that since the deceased was not a recognised chief, it was uncalled for to dress him with the community’s chieftaincy attire.
The rampaging youths said it was improper to also bury the deceased as a chief.
According to one of the female guests, “I have never seen such an incident before. That people will come and attempt to strip a dead body because of Chieftaincy tussle.
“The way they came, we thought they were also coming to sympathize, only for one of them to grab the corpse’s clothes and tore it. He was so angry, he was questioning why Chief Iyibo Briggs should be dressed like that.”
“They were saying he was not their Chief and should not have been treated like their Chief. I think the matter is still in court. But my women group left when the incident was happening because these boys are not predictable,”.