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A middle-aged woman identified as Mama Dada has set herself on fire in her rented apartment allegedly over her inability to offset a N70,000 loan she took from a microfinance bank.
The deceased burnt beyond recognition as the entire building situated at Oke-Keesi, Itoko area of Abeokuta was razed.
An eyewitness, Bolanle Ajayi, who resides in the area, while speaking to Punch confirmed that the woman took her own life after she could not pay back the loan.
She said, “I was told that she obtained the loan running into N70,000.”
A former member of the community bank’s group, who identified herself simply as Mrs Adeogun, said that an ‘unprecedented embarrassment’ will befall anyone who refuses to pay back the loan at the set date.
She said, “If you refuse to pay them back at the set date, you will be treated like trash, you will be embarrassed in a big way, in a manner that your children will forever be ashamed of. I know what I am saying; I used to be a member.
“One must be a member and a committed one before you will be given a reasonable amount of money.
“What they do is that you will join the group and start making thrift with them, it is the evidence of this thrift through your card that will qualify you for a loan which you must either pay back outrightly or in batches.
“But either in batches or outrightly, there is always a set date for repayment that you must meet but if you default, you will live to blame yourself.”
Ade Babawale0, the secretary of the Community Development Association in the area, confirmed that the deceased was owing.
Babawale said, “She was owing the sum of N70,000. Because she was unable to meet up with the payment, she then sent her last born to buy fuel and also used style to discharge the small boy and she locked herself up inside the room and wet everywhere with petrol, including herself and set the whole place on fire.”
Her corpse has been deposited at the State General Hospital, Ijaye, Abeokuta.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, when contacted said she had not been briefed about the incident.