A 64-year-old man, Ojo Joseph, who set his stepchildren ablaze in Ondo State, has stated reasons behind his terrible actions.
The man was made to parade at the state police command headquarters, Akure, on Wednesday.
Ojo stated that anger, thirst for vengeance and family spell made him set his stepchildren ablaze.
According to him, he had a quarrel with his wife that night and as always, the children had joined to beat him up.
The police confirmed that two more children have been pronounced dead at Federal Medical Center, Owo. Recall that one out of the five children had died the same day to the fire.
The man narrated his ordeal, he said, “On that day (last Friday) around 7pm, I had a quarrel with my wife and those children joined my wife to beat me up; I was even injured.
“That was how they were doing whenever we quarreled. So, after they had all slept, out of anger, I went to get petrol and poured into their room and put fire.
“Before now, my wife was no longer taking care of me and yet, whenever quarrel happened between us, she and her children would gang up to beat me up.”
Ojo also talked about how the children ended up as his responsibility.
He said, “Although she had a set of twins for me but told me but before she parked into my house, she told me she had two children and I decided to let her stay with me.
“Later, she told me she had another three children who are staying with her mother making five of them. I had no choice but to allow her but since then, she had been giving me issues with her children.”
The father of the victims, Mr Laidi Akinfolarin, has reacted to the unfortunate incident.
Narrating how the children ended up with their mother, he said the children initially stay with him but whenever he goes to the farm, he makes them stay with their mother who is married to the suspect.
He said he was contacted after the incident and he hated the agonizing state his children were. He demanded justice.
He said, “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.
“When I’m back from the farm on Friday, I would call their mother and they would stay in my place till Monday, when they would return to school. After closing, they would go to their mother till when I’ll be around.
“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 4pm, 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. I heard my first daughter’s voice that their stepfather set them ablaze with petrol and they had been taken to the general hospital in Ondo.
“On getting there, I saw my children writhing in pain. Some were burnt beyond recognition. Their corpses have been deposited in a morgue.
“The remaining children 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. All I want now is justice.”
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