Nigerians in Canada demand investigation into death of boy by drowning

Canada PM Justin Trudeau

Members of the Nigerian community in Montreal, Canada, have demanded that the government conduct widespread investigation into the death of a five-year-old boy who drowned in foster care.

The boy drowned in a backyard pool in Pierrefonds on Monday, April 22.

Nigerians are protesting the lack of outcry over the boy’s death when compared to the death of a seven-year-old girl in Granby, who died while in the care of her father and stepmother.

Community spokesperson, Pius Ehinoma, said that the boy’s parents remained by his side for the entire time.

The boy’s family is originally from Nigeria and came into Canada last year to seek asylum.

However after several months, the department of youth protection intervened and placed the five-year-old and his ten-year-old into foster care.

On April 22 the boys and several other children walked into a neighbour’s backyard in Pierrefonds and the younger boy fell in.

The older boy attempted to save his brother but he also slipped under the water.

The five-year-old boy died that day, while the 10-year-old remained in a coma for several weeks.

“For the time that this boy was in a coma in hospital there was no single official from youth protection that came visiting. Nobody came,” said Ehinoma.

“It was the same parents that they said cannot take care of the boys that were by his side all through the time in the hospital.”

When the boy recovered officials tried to place him back in foster care and that has made many people upset.

“The community said no, before you can take this kid back to other people, we would suggest to you that we have capable members of our community,” said Ehinoma.

A funeral for the five-year-old boy was held this week, and the Batshaw officers of the department of youth protection paid for those costs.