Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
The death of an eight month old boy in a suburb of Benin City, the Edo State capital, has thrown neighbours and family into a state of confusion as to what happened and who was responsible for the incident. The baby had drowned and died inside a plastic water container in his father’s room.
The ugly incident happened at house No. 53, Obakhavbaye in Oredo Local Government Area of the Nigerian state.
The little boy, identified as Abdulaziz Abubakar Aji, is of Hausa parentage and is the second child of his mother.
Sources in the compound told newsmen that the parents had around 6 a.m. on Wednesday morning declared him missing, with some tenants joining in the search for the boy.
The father of the child, Abubakar Aji, is said to have found the lifeless body of the baby inside a plastic water container filled with water when he was about to take water from the container after several hours.
Sources say that the dead child’s father had on Monday brought in a new wife.
There are rumored speculations from some that the crime must may been committed by the new wife.
It was also gathered that the new wife was the fourth wife the man will be marrying since moving into the apartment.
The sources, who suspected foul play, noted that the mother of the late boy went to the toilet and on getting into her room found that her baby was no longer inside the house.
They observed that the perpetrator of the act must have capitalized on the absence of the mother to dump him inside the water container.
Attempts to speak with both parents of the child proved abortive as they declined to speak.
But, the landlord of the house, Ali-Isu Abubakar, who described the incident as shocking and unfortunate, said the boy was the most favourite child in the compound.
He narrated that he heard people crying before he could finish his early morning prayers, and that when he came downstairs, he discovered that the baby was dead.
“I am disappointed, but it is God Almighty who is the creator of heaven and earth that actually knows all that happened. As I just finished my early morning prayer, I heard shouting in the compound and when I came downstairs, I was told that Abdulaziz is dead. He was the most favorite child of the compound. Everybody played with him. I asked how manage? They said he was found dead inside a plastic water container,” the landlord said.
“The father just married a new wife on Monday here. He brought her home here. This is the second night the new wife has spent in the house. It is unfortunate, and that child is the baby of the house.
“He is just about seven to eight months. The mother has just two of them for now, Abdulaziz and Fatima. Last night, the small girl said she cannot sleep in her father’s room and decided to sleep in the other Hausa neighbors room. Who knows? Maybe if she has slept in the same room, the two of them would have been probably dumped into the water container together,” he said.
The father of the boy, the mother and the second wife, have since been arrested by men of the Aideyan Divisional Headquarters.
When contacted, the Edo State Police Public Relations Officer, Chidi Nwabuzor said he was not aware of the incident.