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I ’m happy I’m alive, but afraid I may not go to school again 10-yr-old amputee

By Jimoh Ahmed

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For little Ojo, life is what you make of it, despite your background, poor or rich, privileged or not. Ojo, despite his poor parental position had high hope to become  a  very important person  in life, at least to the society,  but fate would not want him to.

He was taken to a branding mill by his father who had earlier absconded before he was born. Despite his tender age, he was enrolled at the mill as an apprentice.

In December  2022, his master told him to take off the lister engine they were using. While doing his master’s bidding, the belt of the engine hooked his cloth  and his tiny arms in.

The ensuing trauma led to his two arms  amputated.

This led to more grief for the ten-year- old  who lived with his grandparents  Owo that were  peasant farmers, Mrs Anjara Dele and Dele Yusuf.

Unlike many other children in his category, he never had the warmth and care of his parents. His story is a disheartening one.

He was fathered in a not too pleasant manner. His father, simply identified as Sanya is  a  labourer at  a sawmill in Alao area of Ipele,  Owo Local Governmen area of Ondo State,  impregnated his mother and ran away, leaving the care of the young pregnant girl to her father, who was also a labourer in the same sawmill.

Sanya never bothered to know what happened to the pregnancy as he never showed up when Ojo was  born.

The struggle to give the little boy life was solely on the shoulders of his grannies. It was never an easy task as the grandfather, Dele Yusuf, was also laid off when the sawmill where he had  been working folded up.

The situation became more complicated for Ojo and her grannies as they had to rely on their farm  to survive.

To make matters worse, his grandfather, Dele Yusuf, a 70- year -old peasant farmer, could not make enough money to send him to school

However, the father of the little boy,  Sanya,  showed up early in 2022, demanding that Ojo be released to him, saying he wanted to send him to school after accusing his in-laws of not doing anything to secure a future for the little boy.

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That was when the journey of Ojo into a bleak future started.

When The Hope visited the little boy’s place, the grandmother was  on her farm, at the side of the Itapele/Idoani Road, making heaps for the planting  of cassava.

Just a little distance away, was Ojo, jumping up and full of joy,  feeling like nothing happened to him. He was asked to take his visitors to their abode, which   he gladly did.

 The family lives in an old, abandoned office of the sawmill where  the old man once worked . A dilapidated structure, it was the only building in  lonely area.

According to him, he had never seen  his biological father for once until he came to their house   early 2022 to take him away.

“I am Ojo Sunday, My father’s name is Sanya. I live with my grandparents. I was not going to School because there was  no one close to this place.  I am  too young to trek to the place where the school close to this place  is  located”.

“My dream was to go to school and become a doctor so that I would  be taking care of people, especially the poor ones who can  not afford the bills”.

“So when the person whom  I was told is my father came here to take me away, I was happy and followed him because he said he was going to send me to school “

“He took me to Alao, very close to this place and put me in AUD Prinary School. He later took me to a branding mill where he also enrolled me as an apprentice”.

I was going to the place to learn. However, the unfortunate thing happened in December of that year, 2022, my master told me to take off the lister engine we were using and  I was doing that the belt of the engine hooked  my clothe  Before you could know it, my hands were in it  and  I was in pains”.

“I later passed out and was woken up by the doctors at the Federal Medical Centre,  Owo”.

Ojo disclosed that the doctors in the hospital worked hard to save his life and later amputated his two arms to make him live.

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According to him, his father    when he resurfaced   only spat on him on his sick bed and disappeared  again . He  has not  returned .

The little amputee who spent a year in the hospital said the only regret he is having now is not being able to go to school to fulfil his ambition.

He however, said he is still hopeful he could  do that is Nigerians  could  help him out.

“I am happy I am still living today but the only regret for now is that it is like I may not be able to  go  school to become a doctor. My grandparents are old and poor. They cannot support me financially”.

“I am therefore appealing to the government, philanthropist and kind Nigerians to help me”.

Fifty-five  year old Mrs.  Anjara Dele, the grandma of the little boy, broke down in tears when asked to talk about her grandson”s predicament.

Mrs. Anjara said that all  has not  been well with the family as they are very poor and only grow what they eat.

She said her husband is very old and no longer has the strength to do much farm work.

Speaking about Ojo, the grannie said she and her husband had  tried much to make him attain his life ambition but lack of finance  was frustrating their efforts .

“We have been trying our best to take care of him but there is little we can do now as we are going old and having less energy to do farm work “.

“We stayed for one year in FMC, Owo and it  was the doctors and the nurses there that came to our aid as we had nothing to take care of him”.

“We have been living on charities and the little we can get from our farm. Sometimes we  would eat and most times we go to bed on empty stomach “.

She has therefore appealed to government to come their aid to help give Ojo new arms so that he can use them again.

In her words, “I beg government and rich people to help us so that Ojo can get new arms and use them again. At least, if he cannot go to school, he will be able to learn good handiwork that he will use to feed himself “

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Mr Dele Yusuf, the grandfather of the little amputee, put up a little drama when asked about his age and disclosed he was 200 years old. The facilitator of this report however, helped the situation when he said the man  could not be more than 70 years of age.

Dele who said he was working in the same place with the father of the little boy stated that her daughter was lured with money and was put in the family away by the man who later ran away and abandoned the pregnant lady.

According to him, he was forced to take the responsibility of caring for the pregnant lady  and later the child when he was born.

“I did not have the capability of sending the boy to school. He was living with me happily before his father forcefully took away.  Although we didn’t have much, we were happy”.

“It was in 2022 that he (Ojo’s father) came  here to fight me and took him away that I was not doing anything for his son and he was going to send him to school. So, I allowed him to take the little boy away after some people intervened “.

“In December last year, somebody came to tell me that my son had been rushed to the FMC. When I got there I nearly passed out because  of what I saw”.

” I have to thank God, the doctors and nurses in the hospital for saving Ojo’s life”.

He however appealed to Nigerians to come to the little boy’s assistance as he could not adequately take care of him.

For now, Ojo has remained in high spirits, undaunted by his present predicament.  He has the hope that with God and Nigerians, he will definitely get there.

In the words of Mr Akinrogbe, “little Ojo, is an example of  never say  die spirit. He deserves theattention of you and me.”

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I ’m happy I’m alive, but afraid I may not go to school again 10-yr-old amputee

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