Girl set self ablaze says ‘My lover had no money to marry me’

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Residents of Albarkawa area of Gusau metropolis in Zamfara State are still battling to come to terms with why a 17-year-old girl should set herself ablaze over her boyfriend’s inability to pay her bride price. Last week, a young girl identified as Aisha decided to take her own life by setting herself ablaze after she realized that her boyfriend had no money to pay her dowry.

Aisha’s neighbour, Badamasi Aminu, who spoke to DAILY TRUST correspondent in Gusau, said “I was sitting in front of my house around 7am with a friend on that fateful Sunday when I noticed heavy smoke from Aisha’s residence, just few yards from mine.

“My friend presumed that it could be fire from a burning motorbike inside the house. A few minutes after, the girl ran out of the house in flames.

“She kept screaming for help; running from one person to another. As she was contemplating rolling inside a gutter in front of their house, I ran inside the house and came out with a bucket of water which I poured on her to put out the raging flames.

“Initially, I thought it was an accident involving cooking gas, but when I asked her what happened, she said she decided to take her life after she discovered that her boyfriend had no money to pay her dowry,” Badamasi said. A young girl, who is also Aisha’s neighbour, told Daily Trust on Sunday that Aisha took the dangerous decision when her parents were not around.

“On that day, she told her younger sister what she was planning to do. She brought a gallon of petrol and got herself completely drenched in it. She then brought a matchbox and tried to strike the match to ignite fire. “Her younger sister tried severally to stop her but couldn’t. She got tired and went away, then Aisha ignited the fire and within a second she was engulfed in flames,” she said.

Aisha, who is currently receiving treatment at the Federal Medical Centre in Gusau, said, “I can’t engage in pre-marital sex or commit fornication; I would rather die than do that.” “I have been in love with Umar for a long time and I learnt that he had no money to marry me. I can’t afford to lose him. I love him. I did what I did despite the fact that I know committing suicide is against the tenets of my religion, Islam,” Aisha added.

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