A torrent of criticisms has continued to trail the plan to sell at N1,500 each the commemorative T-shirts to mark the burial of Nollywood actress, Moji Olaiya.
The burial committee announced the price offer on Friday while unveiling the two-day burial plans for the actress to journalists slated for Tuesday, June 6 and Wednesday, June 7, 2017 in Lagos respectively.
Olaiya died on 17 May of cardiac arrest three months after she was delivered of a baby girl in Canada. She was 42 years old.
Yomi Fabiyi, the Publicity Secretary of the committee said that people who would be interested in participating in the burial could buy the T-shirts.
However, the committee in the obituary for the late Olaiya made public, said those that would not be able to afford the price of the T-shirt should wear corporate black outfits during the two-day event.
The committee said that Moji’s corpse would arrive Lagos from Canada on June 6. It said that same day, there would be a service of songs for her remains at the Blue Roof of LTV 8 premises in Agidingbi, Ikeja, from 4.00 p.m.
The committee also said that this would be followed with the lying-in-state for her while the interment would hold on Wednesday, 7 June, 2017 at the Ebony Vault in Ikoyi Cemetery.
However, some members of the public had objected to the plan to print and sell T-shirts during Moji Olaiya’s burial saying that the actress died at a very tender age.
They said that doing that would amount to a celebration of somebody who died untimely.
A civil servant, Mrs Damilola Ahmed, said that the burial committee would be turning the burial of the painful death of the 42 year-old actress into a money-making venture.
“What kind of T-shirts are they selling or planning to print and sell and for what? They are laughing, not crying for her. And they announced it to the public?’’ she said.
Also, a businesswoman, Mrs Iyabo Olaitan, said that instead of the burial planning committee to make the ceremony low key, they are planning to sell T-shirts.
“For what? They should rather beg God to spare their own lives”.
“They are bad people, anybody that suggested that is not a good person. She is still very young for that”, she added.
Mr Nwosu Igbo, a student of the Lagos State University (LASU) asked: “How can people think of printing and selling T-shirts for the burial of a young woman that died three months after child birth?
“Such people want to do business with her burial. Are they happy about the death? What for? “Na wa o’’ for Nigerians!
“Will people still be wearing the T-shirts after her burial? How will the family react seeing the T-shirts worn by the public after then?
“Her death was bad enough; the T-Shirt is not necessary. Her parents are still alive. They will always remember her,’’ he said.
Mr Abiodun Bello, a civil servant, said that “when they were asked to contribute money to bring her corpse back to Nigeria from Canada they did not.
“Now, they have money to do T-shirts. This is bad. They should have reflected deeply before announcing it.
“My people so much like uniforms. This cannot happen in every event. This one is a sad one. I know some of them will like it, but of what use,’’ he said.
Taiwo Banky, a member of the burial committee, appeared to distance the committee from the T-shirt idea.
She told NAN: “Is this why you are calling me? The idea is from her childhood friend, it is not from me,”
Moji Olaiya was the daughter of the legendary Nigerian highlife maestro, Victor Olaiya. She converted to Islam in 2014.
Her acting career started with a feature movie “Sunmibare’’ which was produced by Dimeji Ijaduade; before she took a role in Wale Adenuga Productions, Super Story series, “No Pain, No Gain’’.
She starred in many Nollywood and Yoruba movies, among which were: “Sade Blade-2005’’, “Nkan Adun-2008’’; “Omo Iya Meta Leyi-2009’’; “Agunbaniro’’ and others.
She produced a film “Iya Okomi’’ which premiered in 2016. She also won some awards during her lifetime. She was nominated for the Reel Awards for Best Supporting Actress of the Year- 2003. She won the City People Entertainment Award, as well.
In 2015, the Nigerian Police Force, FCT Command, honoured her as a role model for the Nigerian youths