Invasion On Riverine Community: How My 15-Month-Old Baby Was Burnt To Death Bereaved Mother Says


Yesterday, Mrs. Mariam Israel, the mother of the 15-month-old baby who tragically perished in a fire caused by hoodlums invading the riverine community of Egan Oriomi in Otto Awori Local Council Development Area, LCDA, Ojo, Lagos, stated that she was obstructed from rescuing her child.

Vanguard reports that five persons out of the 12 suspects arrested on Monday in connection with the invasion have been released.

The weekend’s attack on the community led to the burning of 15 houses, 10 persons shot and scores of others among whom was a nonagenarian, inflicted with deep machete cuts on his body, by hoodlums alleged to have been hired by some politicians over a lingering kingship tussle.


The bereaved mother, who is yet to come to terms with the death of her baby, spoke to Vanguard, during a visit to Femi Falana’s law firm in Ikeja, alongside other affected members of the community, about how the tragedy occurred.

She said in tears: “My husband is a bricklayer. He went for site work in Surulere that fateful day. Before Saturday, we had been seeing strange faces in the community. Some persons in the community alerted the Police. I also called my husband to inform him of the strange faces because there had been rumour of an imminent attack. He told me to take our two children inside.

“They started shooting about 11 p.m., on Friday. Again, I called my husband to inform him. By then, my baby, Emmanuel, was sleeping with his elder sister.


“By midnight, they started hitting the wall of the room. The next thing I saw was a flame of fire and the smoke covered the entire building. In my confused state, I carried only one of the children and ran out, thinking I would go back to pick up the other child.

“By the time I got outside, I started shouting for help. They prevented everyone from entering the building to save my baby. I kept hearing the cry of my baby until it fainted. The next time I saw my baby, he had been roasted to death.

“They burnt everything, leaving my family bare. I only ran out of a wrapper. Every day, my girl kept asking after Emmanuel.

“ I need justice for my baby, who was killed horribly. Nigerians, please, help me beg Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to come to our aid. They want to silence us because they feel we are poor, voiceless and helpless. Those who sent the hoodlums are politicians who feel we don’t know anyone in the government.”

On his part, her father-in-law, Mr Akinsanya Taofiq, said: “I tried my best to save my grandson. I live in the same community with my son. But on that day, I decided to spend the night with his family because of the strange faces roaming the community.


“When my daughter-in-law raised the alarm that her baby was inside, I attempted to rush inside to save him. But they attacked me with cutlasses, even when I begged them to consider the baby. One of my sons, who came to rescue me from their grips had his skull smashed with a bottle.”



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