An unfortunate incident which happened around 1:00 am, yesterday at No. 9, Edem Okon Street, Inyanasang, has left the community’s residents in a grieving mood. Five-year-old twins, Bishop and Itubong met their death in a fire caused by candlelight which engulfed five buildings.
The twins’ mother had left them in the night and gone out. Since the electricity supply was out, she put on a candle and left it on the refrigerator. The candle eventually melted into the refrigerator and caught fire which razed the whole building.
An eyewitness known as Immaculate Essien said the mother of the twins is a single mother who had left the kids alone in the house to sleep somewhere else. She reportedly made the twins tea and bread and told them to put off the candle before they slept, but the twins slept off
She added, “I started noticing smoke at about 1:00 a.m. and before I could come out with my son my house was already in flames from the roof while the deceased room was already engulfed in fire. We tried putting off the fire but it was very difficult because of the rubber ceiling, which escalated the inferno to the next compound. I had to choose then to leave the place, I didn’t come out with a pin, I lost everything in the fire.
Another witness, Mrs Gloria Asuquo, said the bereaved mother who fries yam and bean cake (Akara) at their junction, was foolish to have left her children alone at home to meet a man.
She said further: “She left her children to have sex with a man without turning off the candle she left on the fridge; those children would still be alive if she applied caution but because she was in a hurry to go out, she will now live to regret her action forever.”
It was also gathered from some neighbours that the mother of the twins doesn’t have a good reputation in the house as the residents say they don’t want to see her because she burnt down the whole house. She was also accused of shielding her kids from mingling with other kids as she’s fond of hiding them in the room because she’s scared that her ex-husband will come back and abduct the kids.
Mrs Gloria added, “She has been visiting the man in this our area for long and that was part of the reason her husband left her and got another apartment. She did not even allow the man to pick anything from the house. Now, the evil has finally become public knowledge.”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Cross River State, DSP Irene Ugbo, confirmed the incident, adding that “the mother of the deceased was at their Divisional Police Office at Airport Road because we learnt the people in the neighbourhood wanted to lynch her.
“We had to keep her in our custody because angry neighbours wanted to lynch her because of what happened. They blamed her that it was her fault that the children died in such a tragic manner because she went to sleep at her lover’s place.
“We are investigating the matter and hope to get to the root to avoid an escalation of the matter because we also learned that the man she slept in his place was attacked and his dog was brutally slaughtered by the angry mob.”