Six-year old Ali Ahmadu, the Chibok boy, who, three months ago, sustained spinal cord injury from Boko Haram attack, and treated in far away Dubai, has returned home fit, inspiring hope in insurgency victims. SADIQ ABUBAKAR reports
Effect of Boko Haram attacks
There is no doubt to say the least that in the past nine years of Boko Haram insurgency, Borno state has been battling with wanton destruction of property worth billions of Naira and loss of thousands of lives and over two million people being displaced from the host communities as their towns and villages were either vandalized or set blaze by the insurgents.
The insurgency has consequently dealt severely on the social, economic and political activities of the state and North east region resulting in total collapse of educational, commercial, political and religious activities attracting interventions from nooks and cranny of the state and country at large in the form of humanitarian services.
Men and women, old and young, children and infants, including teenagers and the physically challenged were affected, living in hunger and starvation in some cases while the welfare of victims of the Boko Haram tends to deteriorate with little or no relief materials from the government, such that donor agencies, except in some quarters, as maintenance of IDPs is said to be a huge cost.
And being heavily capital intensive, government alone cannot shoulder the responsibility satisfactorily without the support and assistance from individuals and organizations.
It was against this backdrop that the case of the little Chibok boy, Ali Ahnadu who three months ago sustained serious injuries on his back or spinal cord resulting in inability of the six year old boy to sit nor walk becomes a matter of national interest.
Fortunately for the boy and his family who had lost hope that the boy will walk again, a good Samaritan, in form of a donor agency came to his rescue by sending the boy to Dubai for clinical operation.
Thankfully,, the little boy returned to Nigeria after a three month surgical and medical attention hale and hearty, kicking and bubbling. When the boy was received and welcomed back home at the Nnamdi Arzikiwe International Airport, Abuja, amidst large crowd of jubilant family members, government officials, wellwishers, admirers, members of the donor agency and other members of the public that converged on the airport to catch a glimpse of the boy and sponsors.
His parents and sympathisers were on hand to welcome him and where his mother Talatu could not hold back tears as she expressed her joy and happiness to see her son back home healthier and fit on his feet.
In Borno state, one Mrs. Helen Mathew, a civil servant with the state government who hailed from Chibok LGA said, “ We are highly impressed and grateful to God Almighty to see our son back home on his feet and healthy walking instead of being in crouches”.
“We also thank the government and all those that assisted and supported the family and child from day one till today. We pray that he gets well and better every day, “ Helen said.
Poma Funa an IDP from Chibok LGA of Borno state, living at the IDPls Camp in Maiduguri said, “There is nothing like the joyous and happy moment like the recovery and health of the little boy who was almost dying and hope was lost for his recovery from the devastating condition of the little boy was into in the hands of poor parents.
“Nobody ever imagine that the little boy will survive the injury and walk again as we see him do today after his return. We are more GA PPT and grateful more than the parents because we are the elders and the little boy is also our child.
“We pray for his quick recovery and urge the government however to assist the parents still or further to cater for the education if the little child. There are other children that are also vulnerable like him in IDPs Camp and host communities living with their relations, family friends and church members who are helpless and incapacitated to adequately cater for the medical and surgical treatment or attention of the children who sustained injuries also during the Boko Haram insurgency”.
A student of Ramat Polytechnic Maiduguri and an indigene of Chibok LGA residing in Wulari area of Maiduguri metropolis, Miss Mary Joseph said, “We are actually very excited and happy to see our brother and son, the little boy back to Nigeria and reunite with his us and parents healthy and kicking.
“We believe it is a thing of joy and happiness for us and all those who care and have concern for us especially, the helpless children that are also affected by the insurgency.
“We also thank all those involved in the treatment of the little Ali Ahmadu both in Nigeria and abroad. May God reward them abundantly”.
A medical doctor based in Maiduguri, Dr. Ahmed Adamu Mohammed, said, “In fact, the issue of the little boy from Chibok is of great concern to all, the state and federal government and the individuals and organizations which informed the level of support and assistance that was rendered to rescue the boy.
“We are grateful and excited to see the little boy back home Nigeria healthy and walking which is the wish of everybody especially, his parents.
“We pray that God will reward all those behind the surgical operation of the little boy because the operation is very expensive I know and cost a lot indeed especially abroad.
“And I hope that government will also sponsor the little boy ‘s education as other children victims of the Boko Haram insurgency that were enrolled in various schools both at home and abroad”.