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Saving the Adogi Baby

Maimuna Adam with her daughter, who was stolen and raped, now recuperating at JUTH

Three-month-old Nasarawa baby stolen from mother’s bed, raped fights for her life in Jos

 

At a glance, the sight of the three-month old baby [name withheld] at the Paediatric surgical ward of Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) is gut-wrenching.

On May 27, the baby went missing from her mother’s bed and when she was found on the floor of an uncompleted building, hours later, she was naked, bloodied and had been brutally raped.

“It was extremely bad,” Maimuna Adam, the baby’s mother said.

Doctors have to find creative ways to help the baby pass urine and feaces

For her, the events of the night of May 27 play out like a dream. She was sleeping with her daughter in her room at Adogi Village of Lafia East Local Government when she woke up around 3 am and discovered that her baby was missing.

“I checked under the bed, I couldn’t find her,” Maimuna said. “I lifted the mattress to see if she had rolled under. I then looked for my cell phone but it too was missing. That made me think that someone with bad intentions had entered the room and taken her alongside my phone.”

The culprits would have had no trouble accessing the room. Because of the excessive heat, Maimuna had left her door open for some fresh air.

Maimuna’s call for help drew neighbours and other sympathisers who gathered in the night.

“I never cried the way I did that night because I had already concluded that since my baby was taken at that period of time, she must have been taken for something dubious,” Maimuna said.

With no trace of the kidnapped child and no exact time she was taken, no one knew in which direction to begin a search. The neighbours split into groups and spread out to find the child, with some riding out on motorcycles.

The search party eventually discovered her in an abandoned building half a kilometre away.

The mother said her daughter was found on the floor of the building, with her diaper cast aside and her privates bloodied. She was first rushed to the Specialist Hospital in Nasarawa.

“On arrival at the hospital, we were taken to the theatre for emergency surgery because she was still bleeding,” Maimuna said. “Doctors attending to us swung into action, cleaned off the blood but realized that the injury was beyond their expectation. They then referred us to the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) for the treatment.”

Hearing that they would be referred to JUTH, Maimuna who was with the victim’s aunt, Mariya Aliyu, became distressed because they didn’t have the money for the trip or the treatment that would be required.

“After ups and downs, family members were able to raise N20, 000 for us. I had sold my mattress because the N20,000 might not be enough to start the journey, buy some essential things and have some amount with us considering the sensitivity of the health challenge of my daughter,” she said.

After examinations by doctors at JUTH, the Adogi Baby underwent three operations; one to fix the damage to her privates and the other to correct some defects connected to her ability to pass urine and defecate.

The mother said before the incident, the baby used to urinate and defecate through her vagina. Since she has sustained serious injuries there, doctors had to pop out her intestines through her stomach so waste from her body could be evacuated.

Aliyu Hashimu, father to the victim who was in Edo State when the incident occurred explained how he felt on receipt of the news.

He said he had called his wife before the attack and they had a normal conversation without the slightest inkling of what was about to befall their daughter.

“When they called and told me what had happened to my daughter, I was extremely shocked. I was surprised to hear how someone would go to the extent of committing such an act,” he said.

He appealed to security agents in Adogi, and the whole of Nasarawa State, to investigate the crime and find the culprits.

Maimuna too said since the culprits are still at large, security agents need to find them as soon as possible because getting justice for her daughter might deter other criminals and save other children from such crimes.

“This is not the first time this is happening in Adogi village,” she said. “The one that happened to my daughter is the fourth.”

Mariya Aliyu, aunt to the victim, who is staying with the victim and her mother at the hospital in Jos, said they would never forgive whoever did this to their daughter or had a hand in the crime. She too wants justice for the baby.

Spokesperson of the Nasarawa Police Command, ASP Ramhan Nansel, said, “The case was not reported to the police in Nasarawa. I called the police where Adogi is under, they said the case wasn’t reported but are still investigating the matter.”

However, the victim’s family said a relative had lodged a complaint at a police station in Adogi a day after the incident.

While the search for the culprit continues, Maimuna has only words of praise for the medical personnel caring for her daughter and curses for the person(s) that visited such pain on an innocent child.

For now, the Adogi Baby is clinging to life with her tiny fingers and only time will tell how well she is going to recover.

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