A barber identified simply as Ahmed has died after setting himself ablaze on a road leading to Omole Estate, near Akiode Bus Stop, Lagos.
He died while he was receiving treatment at a hospital.
The barber had reportedly emerged on the road around 4:30pm on Wednesday holding a five-litre jerrycan of petrol.
He subsequently poured the fuel on his body; struck a match and lit himself.
“While a man used a piece of torn carton to fan the man, some passersby were busy taking his photograph,” an eyewitness, Dolapo Gabriel,
Gabriel stated that Ahmed was running a barber’s shop until his life recently took a drastic turn.
“I saw him pouring the fuel on himself but I thought it was water. Within seconds, he brought out a pack of matches from his pocket and set himself ablaze. Fortunately, a food seller close to the gate had some water. A man quickly took the water to put out the fire. Some people and I joined him. It was strange to me,” he added.
A resident, who introduced himself simply as Tolu, explained that he saw Ahmed walking along the road on Monday and advised him on the need to turn a new leaf.
He said, “He was a barber and used to have a shop around Akiode. He closed the shop sometime ago and started roaming about the neighbourhood. He smoked a lot which I think affected his brain.
“Two days ago, I met him on the road and talked to him that he needed to change. I told him that I would take him to church next Sunday for special prayers. He asked me to buy roasted corn for him which I did after he assured me he would follow me to the church.”
Another eyewitness, Samuel, described Ahmed as a drug addict, saying that he had been mentally unstable for some time.
“Many people around here know him. He used to be a decent person before he suddenly changed as a result of drugs. He lived with his family within this community and they are aware of his plight,” she said.
A senior emergency official told our correspondent on Friday that Ahmed gave up the ghost while he was receiving treatment.
“It is unfortunate that we could not save the man’s life. He died while receiving treatment and his corpse had been handed over to his family,” the official disclosed.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Chike Oti, confirmed the incident but said he had yet to be briefed on the man’s death.
He said, “The incident is true. The man attempted suicide by setting himself ablaze but he was rescued. We have yet to ascertain the reason why he took that deadly action.”