• 2-month-old baby stolen in market
From DESMOND MGBOH, Kano
Christmas festivities has turned out a huge misfortune for a young couple, Mr. and Mrs. Ikechukwu Ufondu, after a strange woman stole their two-month-old baby on the eve of Christmas at the Mohammadu Abubakar Rimi Market in the state capital.
The father of the baby told Daily Sun in Kano that the baby boy, who was born through an operation, was stolen from the mother, Mrs. Amarachi Ufondu while she was plaiting the hair of another woman in the evening of December 24. He gave the name of his missing son as Som Tochukwu Favour Ufondu, saying he was just two months and two days old when he was stolen. The theft of the baby, which had thrown the community into grief and confusion, had been reported to the Market Police Station in the state, but it was unclear if the police had commenced investigations as at press time.
The incident had also been reported to authorities of Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in the state. The confused father, Mr. Ufondu said: “I was in the market at about 5.35pm when my wife, who was plaiting hair at the Yankura section of the market, called me to inform me that our two-month-old baby had been stolen. “I was surprised and shocked and could not believe it.
Then, I immediately hired a Keke NAPEP (tricycle) to take me home and upon my arrival at home, what I was told turned out to be true. In fact, I initially refused her (mother of the baby) entry into the house, out of anger, insisting that she should go and get our baby, but later, I calmed down.” Explaining the circumstances that led to the disappearance of their baby, he told Daily Sun: “My wife told me that she was plaiting the hair of a customer, while her neighbour was fixing the nails of another woman nearby.
“When the baby started crying, she untied her from her back and breastfed her. After breastfeeding the baby, just as she was about to return the boy to her back, the woman whose nailed was being fixed counseled against that, on the grounds that it was wrong to immediately back a baby that had just been fed.” He added that following this suggestion, “the lady then offered to help carry the baby saying that my wife was busy with the hair she was plaiting, a suggestion my wife bought without suspicion, even though she admitted she did not know the said lady.
“When they finished fixing the lady’s nails, she paid and received her change. My wife then asked her to return the baby, but she replied that she was not done with her nails yet. A few minutes after, she played a trick on my wife by sending her on a false errand. “The lady asked my wife to take a serious look at the hairstyle that was being made for another woman just a stone throw away, promising that she would want the same hairstyle as soon as she returned from the Christmas trip.
“That was all. My wife, unsuspicious of any ill motive, fell for the dummy by stepping across to take an intent look at the hairstyle that was being done by her colleague. By the time she turned, the purported Good Samaritan had disappeared into the crowd in the market,” the father said. Mr Ufondu, who was almost in tears through out the course of the interview appealed to the woman to please return their baby while asking the public to join them in prayers for the safety and quick return of their baby. He also appealed to the commssioner of police to help arrest the woman who stole their baby.