Girl, 17, sets self ablaze over bride price in Zamfara

A 17-year-old girl, Aisha Bello, of Albarkawa area in Gusau Local Government of Zamfara State who attempted to end her life last Saturday for not getting married to her suitor is still lying critically ill as her parents have no money to take her to the hospital.

Aisha had last Saturday almost committed suicide by setting herself ablaze because her boyfriend, Umar Faruku could not pay her bride price.

She was, however, rescued by neighbours and passersby.

Narrating her ordeal to newsmen, Aisha stated that, she had decided to kill herself because she was tired of staying alone without a husband.

“I decided to kill myself because the boy I am in love with refused to marry me. I love him dearly and he loves me too, but the problem with him is that he could not pay for my dowry and other traditional requirements.” Said Aisha.

Aisha explained that although she was aware of the punishment from God for anybody that killed himself, she chose to die and be punished than to become a prostitute.

The ward head of the area, Alhaji Aminu Mohammed, who spoke on the issue maintained that, being a leader as well as a closest neighbour to Aisha’s patents, he did all he could to arrange the marriage between Aisha and her suitor, Aminu, considering the gravity of their love, lamenting that, ” the boy is not in a financial position to do so”.

According to the ward head, Aminu was jobless and his parents would not pay for his marriage because he has two elder brothers who were also not married and must get married before him.

Mohammed said, “When the girl insisted that she was tired of staying alone, they invited Aminu to come and explain to her when he would be ready to arrange for the wedding, but Aminu instantly told Aisha that he was not prepared, asking her to look for someone else.

“Immediately he (Aminu) left, Aisha went out and brought kerosene and matches without anybody knowing her intention. When she realised that, there was only one girl around, she brought out the kerosene and poured it on her body then scratched a match where she was immediately engulfed by a raging fire.

“She rushed out of her room and went out of the house screaming in pains where she was rescued by neighbours and passersby who were able to quench the fire.”

He explained that the girl had not been taken to the hospital because the parents could not afford hospital bills.
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