The mother of five children burnt to death in a fire at Abagbo village, Takwa Bay, Lagos State, has reportedly went into depression in the wake of the horrible incident.
The state of her mental health was said to have forced her and her husband to relocate from the village.
The woman, Florence Achomye, had reportedly left her five children with a neighbour, Suliat, on the evening of August 6, while she went to Takwa Bay jetty.
In her statement to the police, Florence stated that she came back home to see her room razed by fire.
“She said she left her children under the care of one Suliat, who locked the children in the room and left for an unknown destination. The children burnt beyond recognition include, Folake Ogundiya, 13; Abigail Ogundiya, eight; Daniel Bakare, six; Chidima Achomye, Nnamdi Achomye, two and one-year-old Khadijat,” the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Bala Elkana, had said.
However, more facts on the sad occurrence emerged on Thursday when our correspondent visited the riverine community.
It was gathered that Florence had the five children for three fathers while the sixth victim, Khadijat, was Suliat’s only child. The razed building was made of planks.
The Otun-Baale of Abagbo, Chief Abdulazeez Kasali, who spoke to City Round on behalf of the community, blamed the tragedy on carelessness on the part of Florence.
Kasali explained that the family had put on a generator for the children to watch television. He said Florence’s husband, Uchena Achonye, left for Takwa Bay to buy drugs for one of the children who was ill.
The Otun-Baale stated, “She is suspicious of her husband and monitors his movements. The husband envisaged that she might trail him to Takwa Bay. He told her to turn off the generator when she is going out and take the children to his brother’s house at the Nigerian Port Authority Quarters in Takwa Bay.
“She left the children with Suliat and went out. Afterwards, Suliat also went out and locked the children inside while the generator was on. She also left her one-year-old child behind.
“We suddenly saw fire. We didn’t know what caused it. The fire was much. We heard some of the children struggling to open the door. It took about an hour before we were able to put out the fire. This is a rural area; we don’t have any fire service station close by.”
Kasali explained further that Florence brought the eldest child, Folake, to the village three months ago, adding that the enormity of the tragedy made her lose her senses.
“Her husband took her away few days ago when she was behaving strangely. The incident has affected her brain. He had taken him to her family. The children were buried last Thursday,” he said.