A 10-year-old girl, Fatima Abdulrashid, currently receiving treatment at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Shika, Zaria, said her stepmother used molten polythene to torture her. Fatima said after the demise of her mother, her father took her with her sister, to Gombe from Zaria to live with their step-mother. “My father forced our grandmother to release us to him. For the fact that my father does his business in Lagos, our stepmother seized that opportunity to torture us. She started by denying us food. After that, she would lock us in a room that is close to the toilet for days. As if that is not enough, she would burn polythene and hold it over our bodies so it drops,” Fatima said, and pointing to the wound on her lips, added that her stepmother used a knife to cut her.
“When our father returned from his trip to Lagos and saw our condition, he started crying and took us to hospital in Gombe for treatment. At the hospital, pressure from doctors and some human rights activists made the reunion with our grandparents possible and this is why I am here (Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital) receiving treatment. I was even lucky to have survived, as my younger sister, Narjis, died due to torture,” she explained.
Before little Fatima was taken to Gombe, she was living with her maternal grandparents in Zaria along with her two siblings. Hajiya Babuwa Mahmud, her grandmother, told Daily Trust that Fatima and her sister only spent three months with their stepmother in Gombe. She said it was within those three months that the two girls were allegedly tortured, which led to the death of their sister, Narjis.
Hajiya Babuwa appealed to the relevant authorities to come to their aid and ensure that justice is done. “I live inside the ancient walls of Zaria in Alhaji Yahaya Na Malam Mai Aljanna’s house. The condition we found this girl in was very pathetic. We came to know their predicament when some good Samaritans called us and we went to Gombe and before our arrival, some human rights activists had already intervened.”
“No human being in his right senses would have treated these little girls the way that woman did. The woman that maltreated these girls is still in Gombe. We are calling on the relevant authorities to ensure that justice is done,” Hajiya Babuwa said.
When contacted, the Chief Medical Director of ABUTH, Professor Lawal Khalid, said the girl is responding to treatment.