A housewife in Bauchi with the ‘consent’ of her husband who happens to be the father of the children, subjected them to domestic violence, torture, dehumanization, cruelty and starvation.
The said housewife is the stepmother of the children and due to the reason that their mother, Habiba Sani Khalid of Bakin kura area of Bauchi metropolis has been divorced paving way for the other woman to come in to take her place as well as the custody of the children.
According to Habiba Sani who cried out over the alleged starvation and torture of her two children by their stepmother, the situation was not known to her until few days ago when her attention was called to the situation the children were going through in the hands of their stepmother.
While speaking to Journalists at the Tashan Babiye General Hospital where the children are currently receiving medical attention, Habiba alleged that one of the children, a three-year-old girl, Sumaiya Yakubu almost died of torture by her stepmother for reasons best known to her.
According to her, the stepmother had been starving the children, beating them unnecessarily while the 3 years old girl was being punished with fire by her 18-year-old elder half-sister in the presence of the stepmother as commanded leaving her with no option but to carry out the heinous act on her younger sister.
Habiba further revealed that the elder half-sister used to put burning firewoods on the girl’s back when she is asked to clean her defecation while the stepmother often beat both Sumaiya and her five-year-old brother, Abubakar Yakubu indiscriminately even as she denied them food as and when due.
The embittered divorced woman added that, “The older half-sister of Sumaiya did that in the presence of her mother and their father who were said to be helpless for fair of incurring the wrath of his wife, that was said to have continued until the matter was later exposed by neighbours who could no longer bear the pains of seeing how the children were been maltreated just because their mother is no longer in the house.
Habiba continued that, “It was their father that later called me on phone and asked me to come and pick my children. He said, if I didn’t carry them, he would not bother about their plight because he has other children he cares for.”
“I declined to go and pick the children, so he eventually sent the girl to me. I realized that she was staggering. She asked me for food. I also saw wounds of beating and burns on her body.
She was asked what happened to her and she narrated her ordeals. Her relative who also saw the girl’s condition wept and posted her pictures on social media. It went viral and attracted the attention of human rights organizations who came to Bauchi to bring us succour,” she explained.
Habiba who is in her mid 30s in tears seek justice for the children saying, “I cannot understand why a human being will treat another human being like this, more so, a 3 years old girl. I want concerned authorities to come to the aid of my children, the pain is too much for me to bear.”
Asked if the father was aware of the situation, she said, “Yes, he was aware, it was him who came to tell me to come over to the house to pick my children or whatever happened to them, it is not his problem and later brought Summaiya to me.”
Also speaking on the matter, a human rights activist and Executive Director of Syndicate In Supporting Women And Children Initiative (SISWACHI), Hajiya Binta Adamu Ibrahim said that she was called from the organization’s headquarters in Abuja and asked to come over to Bauchi in order to intervene in the matter to ensure justice was done for the victims.
She also said that the organization has been dealing with sexual and gender based violence cases uncovering, however, that this torture case was odd saying that as part of their response, the organization reported the matter to Township Police Division in Bauchi which arrested the father, stepmother and the elder half sister of the victims.
Binta Adamu added that the torture on the children were severe and the organization deemed it necessary to bring them to Tashan Babiye General hospital for medical attention because according to her, the children almost looked as skeletons due to malnutrition before succour was brought to them by the organization.
The Medical Doctor in charge of the treatment of the victims at the hospital, Mark A. Garba said that when the children were brought in to the facility, they were malnourished, highly dehydrated adding that their conditions have now grossly improved saying.
He expressed confidence that with proper medical care and attention, the victims will get back to their normal selves and be able to do what children of their ages will do.
When contacted on the issue, the Bauchi State Police Command through the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Ahmed Wakili confirmed the incident and said that the culprits have already been charged to court assuring that the matter will be pursued to a logical conclusion.
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