From Charles Adegbite, Ado-Ekiti
A woman, simply identified as Mrs Ojo of Ikere-Ekiti, Ekiti State has been arrested by the police for allegedly dumping her day-old child in the bush. Also arrested by the police along with her was the husband, Mr Dada Ojo, a driver who claimed no involvement in the act, saying the woman did not tell him before carrying out the plan.
According to Mrs Ojo, she gave birth to a baby boy on Wednesday morning in her Ikere home after labouring for nearly an hour without anybody around to help her or a midwife to assist in delivering the baby. After considering the problems she would face in nursing the child without having reliable source of income and poor condition of her husband, she took the child to a nearby bush and dumped him there. Narrating why she committed the act, the 26-year-old woman said it was poverty that led her into the act, saying there was no money to take care of herself even when she was pregnant, so much that she could not register in any hospital for antenatal and post natal treatment.
She added that her major source of worry was how to take care of herself and the three children she already had for the man because her husband was poor. Mrs Ojo’s husband, however, said the woman was not hungry because he gave her money for food but that the woman was jobless since her petty business collapsed about three years ago. “But would food money be sufficient to buy under-wears, cream, regular hair-do, clothes and other things necessary for women to keep herself constantly attractive to her husband?” This was the question the husband of Mrs Ojo could not answer as he tried to exonerate himself.
While narrating his poverty level, he said he made between N500 and N1,000 daily from his driving job, out of which he would take care of himself, give his wife some money for the upkeep of the family, He said when he returned home from his commercial driving business on that fateful day and observed that she had given birth and asked her about the baby, she simply told him that the baby was dead.
On why she could not seek the assistance of her family members, Mrs Ojo said her poor parents were in the village and were not expecting her to add to their burden if she could not assist them. The couple, who looked haggard when journalists were interrogating them at the command headquarters, had been remanded in police custody.