A middle-aged woman, known as Mama Dada, has reportedly set herself ablaze in her rented apartment over her inability to offset a loan of N70,000 she took from a microfinance bank popularly known as LAPO.
Our correspondent gathered that the deceased got burnt beyond recognition as the entire building located at the Oke-Keesi, Itoko area of Abeokuta was razed.
LAPO is known for lending money to traders and other small-scale business owners with specific instructions for repayment plans.
An eyewitness, Bolanle Ajayi, a resident of the area, said that the woman killed herself after she was unable to pay back a loan she took from LAPO.
She said, “I was told that she obtained the loan running into N70,000.”
A former member of the LAPO group, who identified herself simply as Mrs Adeogun said an ‘unprecedented embarrassment’ will befall anyone who refuses to pay back the borrowed money from the bank at the set date.
“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.”
The secretary of the Community Development Association in the area, Ade Babawale, confirmed that the deceased was owing the bank.
He said, “she is owing the ‘Gbomu le lantern’ 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 use style to discharge the small boy and she locks 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.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said he had not been briefed about the incident.
Oyeyemi, however, promised to get back after he must have been briefed but, had not got back as of the time of filing this report.