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Barber who set self ablaze on Lagos road dies

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A barber has taken his own life 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 : 30 pm on Wednesday holding a five -litre jerrycan of petrol .

He subsequently poured the fuel on his body ; struck a match and lit himself .

Our correspondent learnt that a passerby , who was standing a few metres away from the scene , rushed to put out the fire .

The young man, who was identified simply as Ahmed , was said to have died shortly after he was rescued from the scene around 5 : 00 pm by officials of the Lagos State Ambulance Services .

Before the arrival of the emergency officials and policemen from the Ojodu Division , it was gathered that a mild drama played out .

“ While a man used a piece of torn carton to fan the man , some passersby were busy taking his photograph , ” an eyewitness , Dolapo Gabriel , told Saturday PUNCH ,

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 .

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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 .

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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 . ”

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