In the second week of August, a 24-year-old boy who sells puff puff was bathed in hot vegetable oil by a hoodlum, who is an ex-convict where he works.
The incident happened at Adabata junction, Agaka, Ilorin, Kwara State. The puff puff seller has been identified as Abdulqudus Bello.
Bello has spoken to a journalist at a private hospital at Apalara area, Ilorin while receiving treatment for the injuries he sustained.
Bello said he started the business of puff puff six months ago. He attended Babaoko Secondary School, Ilorin, but dropped out of the school in 2016 because he couldn’t afford the West African Senior School Certificate Examination fee.
He narrated that he self-sponsored his primary school and secondary school education up to SSS 3, selling pure water and charcoal.
Since he couldn’t further his education, he resorted to helping traders offload rice from trailers to earn some money.
He proceeded to Lagos, where he also did menial jobs. He came back with N40,000, which was spent on feeding because, when he got home, his mother and the other siblings found it difficult to get food.
He later enrolled as a shoemaking apprentice. When he had completed his tenure, and it was time for the send-off, there was no money to get himself established.
At this, point, he teamed up with a friend to fry puff puff at Adabata junction, Agaka which is not far from his residence. He said he learned the skill by himself by watching a man who made puff puff at Kuntu area of Ilorin, which is not far from his house.
Getting capital to start the business was a problem for him and so, he approached some traders who were selling flour, vegetable oil, and sugar and they agreed to give him the ingredients on credit, while he’d settle them after selling his puff puff.
According to him, on a fateful day, around a few minutes to 8 pm, that one of the hoodlums around came to his stall and said he was sent to collect puff puff and money.
Bello said that was something very common in the area. They were coming every day. Sometimes, they would come and ask for money, in addition to puff puff, and, some days, they would spend up to N2,000 per day to pacify them.
He narrated that sometimes, when they would come like that, he would plead with them and some of them who are very passionate would leave him. But this one who came for the first time did not listen to our pleadings.
It was the first time that that particular person would come, although others used to come to ask for the same things. He told the guy to be patient but he threatened to beat him and pour the hot vegetable oil on his head if he didn’t answer him quickly.
He was still pleading with him when, suddenly, he lifted the frying pan and emptied the hot vegetable oil on the puff puff seller’s head.
The poor boy wreathed and shouted in pains, and soon fell unconscious. The people around quickly carried him to a nearby clinic who referred them to the General hospital nearby.
Bello said he later learned that the culprit had been to prison in Lagos State and Ibadan (Oyo State) and even Ilorin and that he was among those recently pardoned.
He said he has heard that the case is no longer with him, but it is now with the state government. Since the man has been arrested by the police, he wants the government to do the right thing and get justice for me. His pain is unbearable.
Bello wishes to continue his education and would appreciate public assistance in medical bills and other support.