Fatima Abdullahi, the mother of a 14-year old girl, Maryam, who was abducted and raped by a policeman, Corporal Bara’u Garba, says she regrets the day she sent her to Onitsha market.
Based in Asaba, Delta state, Fatima had given Maryam some money to go to the market and buy some curtains but Maryam lost the money and only realised after she was about to board another bus after alighting from the first.
While she was walking to and fro the park, looking for the bus that brought her, Garba sighted her and asked what she wanted. She narrated her ordeal and told him she wanted to go back home.
Garba asked her to climb on his bike pretending to help her, but he drove to his house, locked her up and raped her two to three times a day for six days.
One night, while he was asleep, Maryam called her cousin and told him all that happened to her. So, they planned with their aunt to call the policeman and pretend like a single business woman, who comes to Onitsha market and would like to meet the policeman.
When the policeman and Maryam’s aunt met, she confronted him about Maryam but he denied with the claim that he had never met her. While Maryam’s aunt was on her way to report the matter to the Area Commander in Onitsha, they got a call from the Hausa community in Asaba that Maryam was at their office.
Narrating the effect of the experience on her daughter, Fatima says she feels guilty .
“All she does lately is to sleep and I don’t blame her. My daughter was a loving child; she had good friends. She loved to relate with people, but now things are no longer the same. She prefers to be all by herself. She stays indoors and refuses to go out… A lot has been taken from her…. she sits on her bed and stares into space. Her mind always seems occupied.”
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