by Femi Owolabi
Abubakar Usman, the five year old boy whose eyes were gouged out on January 25, 2016, by suspected ‘ritualists,’ in Zaria, Kaduna State, has had a rough time of things since then.
His father, Mallam Usman, who has been out of a job for a while now, still recalls that Sunday morning with pain.
“Abubakar and his brother were supposed to go for Quranic class. His grandma gave him money to buy cheese balls. He was told that cheese ball had finished and returning home, we gathered that some people called him,” Usman said. ” I wasn’t around, but his grandma was at home. After a while that grandma didn’t see him return, she went outside to look for him, and saw a circle of people gathered round him. His two eyes have been removed.”
The entire incident happened within 30 minutes and the boy’s life was thrown into darkness.
Little Abubakar’s misfortune shook the nation. A delegation from the Kaduna government led by Bashir Ibrahim Dabo, a special assistant to the governor, visited him at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital in Zaria where he was receiving treatment. The father was given N179, 500 from the government, and more importantly, the governor promised that the boy’s education up to the university level will be taken care of by the government.
At the time, there was talk of taking Abubakar to India for further treatment, and Shehu Sani, the senator representing Kaduna Central, promised to foot the trip and the medical bill to ensure Abubakar is fine.
Almost, half a year later, The ScoopNG followed up on that story and found out that neither the governor nor the senator have kept their promise to the lad.
“We were only given about N180, 000 by the government, and nothing else since then,” Abubakar’s father said.
Only, the Emir of Zaria attempted to assist his son by taking him to a specialist hospital in Kaduna, but sadly, the boy’s case was beyond what the hospital could handle. And since then, little Abubakar has been abandoned to his fate.
Attempts by The ScoopNG to reach Mr. Ibrahim Dabo, the governor’s aide who led the delegation to visit Abubakar, was unsuccessful. Dabo said he could not respond to questions at the time we called and promised to return the call. At the time of this report, he had not and had not responded to further calls and messages.
Sen. Shehu Sani also did not respond to calls and messages seeking his response.
Find below, the two part video of an interview by The Scoop’s Femi Owolabi with Abubakar’s family.