>> My children were roasted like bush meat — Father of burnt children cries out
>> Children join their mother to beat me; We fought the night I set them ablaze—Stepfather claims
The Father of the five children set ablaze by their stepfather, Liadi Akinfolarin, has lamented that they were roasted like bush meat.
Their stepfather, Ojo Joseph, who reportedly sprayed the room in which the children were sleeping with petrol, before setting it ablaze over alleged denial of sex by his wife, has been paraded by the state police command.
The suspect alleged that he set the children ablaze because they used to join their mother to beat him up.
Ojo said he had been married to four different women and had 10 children.This is coming as reports had it that, aside from the child that was burnt to death in the inferno, two others reportedly died at the hospital, on Tuesday.
The twins that the wife had for the suspect, after his first failed marriage, were not affected in the inferno.
Narrating his ordeal, the father of the five children, Liadi Akinfolarin, said: “My wife packed out of our matrimonial home and left the children for me to cater for because of the man that now burnt my children
“I work on the farm as a tractor driver. The children used to stay with me whenever I did not go to the farm. At times, I would stay on the farm for three to four days before coming home. And during that period, the children stayed with their mother till I come back from work.
“Most times when I’m back from the farm on Fridays, I would call their mother to tell them I was back. And they would stay at my place till the Mondays when they would go to school.“After closing, they would go to their mother till when I will be around again. That’s how we were been doing it on Fridays and Saturdays.
“On that fateful Friday, I returned home late from work. So, I couldn’t call them because I knew they would come to my place on Saturday.“But around 4 pm, I received a call from an unknown person, who told me that the house of my former wife’s husband was on fire. But I did not answer the person because the woman is no longer my wife.
“My phone rang again around 6pm and the person said my children wanted to speak with me.
“Then I heard my first daughter’s voice saying that our stepfather set us ablaze with petrol and they have been taken to the general hospital in Ondo. “And I Immediately left for the hospital.“On getting there, I saw my children writhing in pain. Some were burnt beyond recognition.
“One first died, while the second one died on our way to FMC Owo. “The one that died first is Tayo, a seven-year-old boy and the second one is Aanu, a nine-year-old girl. Their corpses have been deposited at the morgue.
“The man roasted my children like bush meat. Now, I’m left with three out of five children.
“The remaining three, Bisola, Tope and Tobi are at FMC Owo with the support of oxygen.
“I have promised them that after this trip to the farm, I will stop going and look for something else to do so that I can take care of them properly.
“They only stay with their mother in her husband’s house whenever I’m not at home.
“I have five children already; two boys and three girls. So, what am I looking for again? I don’t want my children to suffer.“He noted that “That is why I did not remarry, to prevent another woman from maltreating them.”
During his parade by the police, the stepfather said that he acted because the children joined their mother to beat him up whenever they have a misunderstanding.Ojo said: “I am 64 years old. I have married four wives. I did not strangulate my first wife. I have 10 children from different women.
“The one I married last, if I give her money and she buys food, she does not give me food. She does not wash my clothes. She always fights me.
“We have been together for two years. She and her children used to fight and beat me. They are always fighting. She does not fetch water for me. She fights the whole street. She always fights me alongside her children. They always beat me.
“We fought the day I set the children ablaze. We do not use to quarrel over sex. Everybody in the street knows the children used to beat me. We fought the night I set them ablaze.”
Addressing newsmen, the state police spokesperson, Funmi Odunlami, said Ojo told police interrogators that he gave his wife N600 but he was not given any food the night he carried out the heinous act.
Odunlami said three of the children have died, adding that the suspect would soon be charged to court.