Man sets himself on fire in Plateau

47-year-old Man sets self on fire in Plateau…Nigeria local news
Charles Nwoke, Jos, Nigeria
January 1, 2021

Title image: In 2020, violent crimes involving fire were a prevalent issue in Nigeria…

Mohammed Okatewun, a 47-year-old man of Williams Street, Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State, set himself ablaze in the early hours of yesterday and died on New Year Eve by 2 pm the noon.

According to reports, the victim, a huge and tall man in his middle age, parked his tricycle (Keke NAPEP) in the Garden of Peace and Forgiveness established by Governor Simon Lalong in the state capital. An eyewitness narrated that the man after parking, removed the petrol can from the tricycle, poured the PMS content on himself, and set himself on fire with a match.

“Instantly, the fire went off and he was burning seriously while shouting ‘Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar’ before some Muslims around the area, who at first were confused, rushed to the scene and poured water on the man, thinking that was the solution.

“But alas, not much could be done as the water inflamed the fire. The fire was later doused and the man was rushed to a nearby hospital before policemen arrived at the scene,” an eyewitness narrated.

Another eyewitness who pleaded anonymity told newsmen that the deceased man had a serious wrangle with his father on Wednesday where he twisted his father’s hand, a development that provoked his siblings who teamed up to beat him mercilessly.

“By 7:30 a.m. today (yesterday), the victim went to buy fuel from a petrol station. He came to the garden opposite OLA Hospital, Jos, and burnt himself. We could not get water around as the burning was too much and unbearable. His father, when informed of his son’s action, came to the scene, saw his son in pain, and left. It was the victim’s brother who came and carried him to the hospital for emergency treatment,” said the local source.

Musa Abbas Adavize, the deceased family member, revealed that the victim was rushed to the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), where he was admitted by doctors who told the family that based on the degree of burns, the victim’s survival was 50-50.

Sani, the deceased’s younger sibling, explained that his brother is the first son of the family through their father married four wives, adding that his brother worked as the head of security for his father’s company. He said their father for reasons best known to him, refused to pay him three months’ salaries.

“People begged our father to forgive his son, but he refused, which led to the guy’s hard decision. On the day of his death, my brother only told his wife that he was going to buy medicine to treat headaches, but he ended up carrying out what he intended to do,” said Sani.