A four-year-old boy, Daniel Oyedokun, lost his life on Sunday after he fell into a canal at Awori Street, Dopemu, Agege in Lagos State. The boy was returning from church with his neighbour’s sister and other children when the tragic incident happened.
According to his father, Olabode Oyedokun, who spoke to PUNCH on Tuesday, Daniel followed their neighbour to church as he was unable to go with him to their own church due to illness.
He said he allowed his son to go with the neighbour’s sister, who was about 15 or 16 years old.
Olabode, who is popularly called Baba Ibeji, said he got home and met people standing and weeping. He said he rushed to the canal and found out that his son had drowned in the flood that accompanied the heavy rain on that day.
He said, “The girl who took him to the church was crossing the children one after the other. So, she asked Daniel to stand at the edge of the canal, while she crossed the others but he accidentally stepped on the water and slipped into the canal.
“I didn’t know what to do. I was told his body was found in a gutter so I had to go to the police to retrieve his body and we buried him.”
The Ekiti State indigene blamed the church for allowing the children to leave the church premises while it was still raining heavily.
He said, “It’s the church that I blame; they shouldn’t have allowed children to leave while it was raining heavily like that. They should have closed the gate very well until the rain stopped.”
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the incident and said the police started a search for the boy immediately after they received the report but unfortunately didn’t find him alive.
Hundeyin said, “With the assistance of the officers of the Lagos State Command and divers from the state fire service, we swung into action immediately.
“Unfortunately, the lifeless body of the boy was recovered inside the gutter along the same street.”
He said the father of the boy applied to retrieve his corpse after it was recovered from the gutter for immediate burial and the corpse was released to him.
Hundeyin sympathised with the parents of the boy and advised parents to keep a close watch on their children especially those living along water channels to avoid any tragedy such as this.