By Gbenga Ariyibi
TragedyÂ struck in Ayegunle Ekiti, in Ijero Local Government area of Ekiti State as a family lost five children within 48 hours after reportedly eating food made from cassava flour, while the wife and a nephew are still in critical condition in the hospital
Mr Kayode Ogunlusi, a 45-year-old farmer had planned like any other day to take dinner and the choice of food was cassava flour otherwise known as amala.
Ogunlusi who has two wives, Peju and Abigael and 13 children aged between four andÂ 18 had instructed his senior wife, Peju to prepare the soup and asked his first daughter, Iyabo to prepare the meal, only to observe that two of his children were unconscious after eating the food
After eating the food yesterday, Vanguard gathered that two of the children gave up the ghost, while the remaining three were immediately rushed to the University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti, but attempt to save their livesÂ Â proved abortive.
Commenting on the ugly development, a relation of the family told Vanguard that a dog which had earlier eaten out of the meal was found dead in the compound about three hours after taking the food, but said they never suspected anything.
On his own account, Ogunlusi noted that it was a strange incident that he has never witnessed.
According to him, â€œthe ewedu and stew were prepared by Peju, who is the first wife, while the cassava flour was prepared by Iyabo, who was my first born, around 8 p.m. At about 4 a.m, Peju was vomiting all the food and was becoming weak. After we took care of her, about 10 a.m, Iyabo was complaining of stomach ache, I took her to a private hospital, but she was not responding to treatment, and was also becoming weak, within a short period, they could not talk again, I therefore rushed them to the general hospital.”
When contacted on her hospital bed, Peju, who is pregnant could not talk as the death of her children are being kept away from her,Â and she keep asking after the welfare of her children. All she could utter was that, â€œPlease, where are my children.”
I donâ€™t know how it happened, I prepared the soup, so, I donâ€™t know what happened.”
The junior wife, Abigael was also receiving treatment as at the time Vanguard paid a visit to the hospital
Commenting on the incident, the doctor in charge, Dr. Olusoji Abidemi said the first child was brought to the hospital dead while several efforts made to revive the remaining children failed as they died yesterday morning, adding that the cassava flour may not have been properly processed and urged the people to always ensure that cassava are adequately processed.