A 40-year-old man yesterday set himself and his girlfriend ablaze in his bedroom at Inikpi Street in Makurdi, Benue State. The man, whose identity was not disclosed, locked the girlfriend in the room and went to buy fuel, which he poured on himself and the lady. He later ignited fire which burnt them beyond recognition.
New Telegraph was informed that the girl was taken to hospital by officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC). Witnesses said it took the intervention of the firefighters to prevent the inferno from spreading to nearby apartments.
The incident attracted hundreds of sympathisers who expressed anger and surprise at what many of them described as an act of lunacy. A source said that the man, who had a wife and children, was angry because his girlfriend told him that she had found a young man who she wanted to marry.
“But the man, on hearing that his girlfriend was planning to leave him and marry another man, got angry, locked up the girl inside the room and went with the key to buy fuel at the filling station.
“When he came back, he opened the door and locked the door back. We learnt, he poured the fuel on himself Enand on the girl. He then ignited fire which burnt both of them,” the source in the neighborhood told New Telegraph. But some neighbours said the man had a mental problem.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Catherine Sewuese Anene, said witnesses told the police that they saw the man with fuel and assumed he wanted to use it for his generator.
Anene said the man and his girlfriend had been having a misunderstanding which led to the sad incident. She said the command had commenced investigations to unravel the actual cause of the incident.