The story has been old of Hadiza Ibrahim, a 12-year-old rape victim who has turned nursing mother.
Ordinary, a woman who has just been delivered of a baby requires the protection of her husband. She is also expected to breast feed her new born child. That, however, is not the case with Hadiza Ibrahim, a junior secondary school pupil forced into early motherhood by her supposed academic and moral guardian. She has neither the man that would provide her warmth nor the breast milk her new born baby would suck.
The hapless 12-year-old became pregnant after she was allegedly raped by Ibrahim Tukur, the vice-principal of Kadandani Community School in Rimi Local Government Area, Katsina State, where Hadiza was a pupil.
When our correspondent visited Hadiza on her hospital bed on Thursday at the Post Natal Ward of Federal Medical Centre, Katsina where she was delivered of a baby through caesarean section, she was seen sitting beside her baby on her hospital bed, eating noodles. Visitors and other patients at the ward were shocked at the sight of a young mother who probably needed as much motherly care as her four-day-old baby.
Asked why the baby was crying, Hadiza’s mother, Rabi Ibrahim, who is also nursing a three-month-old baby, said the baby was hungry but Hadiza could not breastfeed her because her breasts were yet to fully develop. She also said they had no money to food supplements for the baby.
She said: “My name is Rabi Ibrahim. I am the mother to Hadiza and she is my first born.
“Hadiza was impregnated in the school by her class teacher. We did not know until she was about to give birth four days ago and we brought her here in the hospital. I thought she would abort the pregnancy, not knowing that she was going to give birth.
“This evil teacher of Hadiza is fond of doing that to people’s children in the school; it is just that Allah wants him to pay for his evil deed through my daughter, Hadiza.
“He would deceive her with N50, saying that he is her father because her father’s name is also Ibrahim, which mean he has access to interact with his daughter even though he is the teacher. That pave way for him to always abuse her sexually without us knowing what was happening.
“Hadiza could not tell us what was going on with her in the school because this evil teacher threatened to punish her if she told anyone about it. She kept it secret even from us her parents.
“Nobody understood what was going on with Hadiza. She did not show any sign of pregnancy. The evil teacher has three wives.
“There is no milk in my daughter’s breasts but we do improvise milk for the baby to sustain her with the help of doctors and nurses in the hospital.”
Hadiza’s mother denied receiving any help from Tukur, who is now in police custody. She solicited for help from public spirited individuals and corporate citizens.
Hadiza herself could not speak fluently because she had sore throat at the time our correspondent visited, though she managed to utter some words.
She said: “He (Tukur) used to give me “kudi-ya” (Hausa phrase for the money a father gives to his daughter as gift). He gave me N50, N100 or N200 at different times. Then he would call me into his office and sleep with me.”
What remained puzzling, however, is how a girl’s pregnancy would mature and she would be delivered of the baby without the breasts developed enough to feed her child.
Dr Bola Kale, a consultant/gynecologist with the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Katsina, in a telephone conversation with our correspondent, described the scenario as unusual.
He said: “It is not about age. Even for those who are well mature, for one reason or the other, there might be delay in production of breast milk. Some will start early for the first feeding but some may be delayed.
“Sometimes we may just recommend breast pump for some people to stimulate, because it is about the physiological effect. It differs from one person to another.
“It is not about her age; it is just because nature may have delayed in producing breast milk.
“What will happen is that they will continue to pump her breasts. In fact, if they have money, they can buy a breast pump so that the child will not continue to be on breast milk supplements.”
He noted that there are exceptional cases of even 11 years old girls developing breasts before their teenage years and some between16 and 20 years not having their breasts fully developed.
He, however, expressed concern that in Hadiza’s case they may have to spend a lot of money on milk supplements, especially when the baby gets up to a month old when they might be buying milk supplements every three days
I’m guilty as charged, says Tukur
Tukur, the alleged rapist and vice-principal of Kadandani Community School, told journalists in Hausa language at the police headquarters in Katsina that he committed the act as alleged.
He said: “I am being accused of committing rape and it is true I committed the crime. I have been having affairs with the girl for eight months now. I used to take her to my house and offer her the sum of N300 of N500. Some other times, I would give her N200 to sleep with her.
“Information reaching me right now is that the girl has been delivered of a baby boy for me. I have three wives.”
Parading the suspect, the spokesperson of the Katsina State Command of the Nigeria Police Force, Gambo Isah, a Superintendent of Police, said the victim’s father, Ibrahim Sale had complained that Tukur, on several occasions, lured his 12-year-old daughter into his house, had carnal knowledge of her and in the process impregnated her.
The PPRO further expressed the concern of the command on the upsurge in rape cases across Katsina State, adding that it has become imperative to alert members of the public, especially parents, to always look after their wards.
He said: “The command, under the leadership of CP Sanusi Buba, is collaborating with relevant stakeholders such as the government, traditional institutions, religious leaders, women organisations, the media, civil society organisations, trade unions, etc., on the necessity of public sensitization in order to rid the state of this menace.”
Source: The Nation