The reported arson on Ebeano Supermarket at Lokogoma district in Abuja has been generating reactions from Nigerians.
Prime Business Africa reported yesterday that the fire incident which razed the popular supermarket earlier this month was set up by a nine-year-old girl as was seen in a viral video online.
CCTV footage captured when the young girl intentionally went to a highly inflammable section of the supermarket and lighted it up with a lighter she found on the shelve. To watch the video, click on this link.
Another video circulating online also showed the girl apparently being interrogated by the police.
Commenting on this, Abuja-based Ozemoya Okordion condemned the interrogation of the young arsonist, whom he said needs protection as a minor.
“Not a brief for the arsonist, but we as a people really do need to understand the psychology of minors and, importantly, how to handle delinquency in minors? That vile interrogation is to say the least, totally unacceptable practice. Certainly for any nation that sees justice system as one for rehabilitation, not punitive.
“Those officers or whomever they are will only have succeeded in nailing the coffin of damage on the girl. Nigeria is a signatory to all conventions for the protection of children and should build a system that truly obeys their obligations. We should focus on repairing the child, than destroying them. Many families have seen their children cause damage at home. Some as significant as Ebeano. Did they throw the child away?,”Okordion said.
In contrast, another commenter, Mrs Stella seems to be defending the security operatives who quizzed the girl, saying, “I’m not holding brief for the security details but isn’t their tone same as what an average Nigerian parent will do in scolding a child? For me, the investigation should tell me if the parents were questioned or was she innocent like any other child who is thrilled by fire? I can remember some childhood games when lighting matches and burning paper was done for fun.