In the early hours of Sunday, August 9, 2020, a delegation from the Kebbi State Government took over the care of Jamilu Aliyu, a 10-year-old boy, forced by his parents to live with animals in a stable for two years.
Jamilu from Badariya in Birnin Kebbi Local Government Area of Kebbin State, Northwest Nigeria, was chained in a stable with goats and other animals for about two years, soon after his mother died.
The boy was under the care of his father and two stepmothers, who denied him food, sometimes for weeks or months and as a result he had to eat food given to animals in a cowshed or feed on dung.
Neighbours discovered the boy and the news quickly spread through a video footage.
Through the intervention of International Federation of Women Lawyers and National Human Rights Commission, the government came in to rescue the lad who was emaciated, dehydrated and partially deformed and behaving like the animals he lived with.
His father, Malam Aliyu Badariya, and his stepmothers were arrested and detained by the police in Kebbi, while he was taken to the hospital for medical attention.
Hajiya Zara’u Wali, the Special Adviser to them Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State on Women and Social Development, visited the boy at Sir Yahaya Memorial Hospital, Birnin Kebbi and said: “Evaluation will be done by the doctors and any kind of problems diagnosed will be fully taken care of by the state government.”
A human rights lawyer, Mr Hamza Attahiru Wala, said, “Jibirilu was met tied in animal stall as he was eating dried animal faeces, the parents fabricated that Jibirilu has epilepsy.”
The Chairman of Birnin Kebbi Local Government, Alhaji Aminu Ahmad SarkinFada, expressed shock over the development and pledged to complement efforts by the state government in treating and rehabilitating the boy as well as the prosecution of the parents.
He called on members of the community, particularly community leaders, to be vigilant and report any case of abuse to the relavent authorities.
Meanwhile, the state Governor, Mr Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, expressed sadness over the development.
The governor long ago submitted a bill to Kebbi State House of Assembly for the domestication of the Child Rights Act for the protection of children but it has yet to be passed.
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