From: Segun Babatunde in Bauchi
A divorcee Habiba Sani Khalid of Bakin kura area of the Bauchi metropolis has cried out over alleged starvation and torture of her two children by their step mother.
Speaking to newsmen in an interview yesterday at Tashan Babiye hospital Bauchi where her ‘maltreated children’ are receiving medical attention alleged that one of the children, a three year old girl Sumaiya Yakubu almost died of torture by her step mother.
According to her, the step mother starved the duo, beat them unnecessarily while the three year old girl was being punished with fire by her 18 year old elder half sister in the presence of the step mother.
Habiba revealed that the elder half sister used to take lit firewoods and put it on the girl’s back when she was asked to clean her after defecation.
While the step mother often beat both Sumaiya and her five year old brother Abubakar Yakubu indiscriminately even as she denied them food as at when due.
“The elder half sister of Sumaiya did that in the presence of her mother and father. That has continued until the matter was later exposed.
“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 wouldn’t 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 event viral and attracted the attention of human rights organizations who came to Bauchi to bring us succour”. She explained.
Also responding, a human right activist and executive director of Syndicate In Supporting Women And Children Initiative (SISWACHI) Hajiya Binta Adamu Ibrahim said she was called from their headquarters in Abuja and asked to intervene in the matter to ensure justice is done for the victims.
She said their organization has been dealing with sexual and gender based violence cases uncovering however that this torture case was odd.
Binta said as part of their response, the organization reported the matter to township police station Bauchi which arrested the father, step mother and the elder half sister of the victims.
She said the torture on the children were severe and the organization deemed it necessary to bring them to Tashan Babiye hospital for medical attention.
According to her, the children almost looked as skeletons due to malnutrition before succour was brought to them by the organization.
The doctor in charge of the treatment of the victims at the hospital Mark A. Garba said when the children were brought, they were malnourished, highly dehydrated adding that their conditions have now grossly improved.
“We handled cases that are even more than this. He explained.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of Bauchi state command DSP Ahmed Wakili confirmed the incident and said that the culprits have been charged to court.