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Holy coffin: Pastors, carpenter on war path over coffin

Posted by From JOE EFFIONG, Uyo on 2008/11/18 | Views: 2713 |

Holy coffin: Pastors, carpenter on war path over coffin


A coffin, naturally, is a fearsome piece of furniture which nobody however rich, would like to buy and keep in the house for whatever reason, irrespective of its artistic design.

A coffin, naturally, is a fearsome piece of furniture which nobody however rich, would like to buy and keep in the house for whatever reason, irrespective of its artistic design.
But a new design of coffin has now put a carpenter and some pastors in Akwa Ibom State on a collision course.

The coffin designed like a Holy Bible by Mr. Friday Bassey Ibanga, at Nung Oku-Ibesikpo, a suburb of Uyo, is the cause of the rift between the designer and the clerics.

Ibanga told Daily Sun that some "wuruwuru pastors" had come several times to warn him against designing such a coffin. "One of them even came to tell me that God asked him to come and warn me to stop designing coffins like a Bible.

"But Iím fulfiling the word of God because God said that somebody will die, so Iím supporting that biblical passage that man will return to sand".

What, however, seems to push him into the design is the demand. "People like the design a lot but it is difficult to design that is why it is costly. Each costs N60,000 while ordinary coffin is between N20,000 and N25000 depending on the wood. If it were easier to make, I would be producing many because people like it but what scares them is the price"

Bassey, who is from Nsit Ubium Local Government area of the state, said he preferred to construct coffins to other pieces of furniture because it is easier to make and the market is good.
"You donít have headache if you produce coffin. There is no disappointment. If I get an order today, by tomorrow, the job is complete, that is for ordinary coffin. There is no spiritual attack if you make coffin unless the maker gets involved in some other diabolical things. When I came here newly, I used to sleep inside it until the landlady pleaded with me to come and sleep inside the house. My wife is not against my work", he explained.

He insisted that he would continue to do the coffin business, especially, the Bible design as long as there is there is demand for it.

But Rev. Inem Eshiet, of Qua Iboe Church and a supervisor of health in Onna Local Government area of the state frowned at such coffin designs. "It is sycophancy. It is making a caricature of the Holy Bible. It is a misnomer. CAN (Christian Association of Nigeria) should condemn it in the strongest of terms. I believe the state chairman of CAN or PFN would make a categorical statement on it. As for me, I condemn it."

The state chairman of PFN, Apostle Cletus Bassey was not in office when Daily Sun called but a pastor in his office, Princewill Daniel, who insisted that he was speaking for himself, said designing a coffin like a Bible was only a "marketing strategy. They are targeting Christians to buy, maybe, to bury their leaders.
"But God is the final arbiter. It doesnít matter where or how somebody is buried. I know some Christians would be furious thinking that it is sacrilegious; that it is trivalizing the Holy Bible, but letís leave that to God".


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