8-year-old boy escapes lynching after being accused of stealing plastic materials

An eight-year-old boy (name withheld) narrowly escaped being lynched by residents of Olola area of Odo-Ona in Ibadan on Friday for allegedly stealing plastic materials.

A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent, who was at the scene, reports that it took the intervention of some parents to convince the angry residents to set the boy free.

A resident, Silas Oresanya, said he was quietly sitting at a hidden place in his house when he sighted the boy searching his compound.

“After some minutes, I saw the boy picking up our plastic buckets, bowls, and other plastic items.

“When I apprehended him, I asked him why he was stealing the items, and he replied that his mother mandated him to go around the neighbourhood to fetch plastic materials to make fire for cooking.

“He said that since her mother could no longer afford to buy gas or charcoal, they had resorted to using plastic materials to ignite fire for cooking,” Oresanya said.

Two other residents who preferred to be anonymous affirmed that they had previously seen the boy stealing plastic items and charcoal in the community.

Already, a market survey by NAN revealed that cooking gas sells for between N900 and N1,100 per kilogramme in the community.

A gas outlet operator at Odo-Ona, Mr Fatai Olanrewaju, said he now sells at N1,100.

He said this was because he had to factor in the cost of transporting the commodity from the depot to the community.

However, Mrs Omotoyosi Abdulkareem, said that buying from major gas outlets was more economical, because she recently bought at the rate of N650.

Meanwhile, another resident, Mrs Joy Uchendu, expressed sadness that she had resorted to the use of firewood due to the economic downturn.

“Even the firewood is not easy to come by as I send my children around to fetch the wood,” she said.

A charcoal trader in the community, Mrs Abosede Lawal, pointed out that the cost of transporting charcoal was the major reason for the high cost of the commodity.

Lawal said that there was nothing anyone could do about it for now since the government had removed subsidy on fuel.

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