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‘Why we confined our daughter for 5 years’

Fisayo Akinduro, Osogbo

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Challenges are inevitable in life, irrespective of one’s age, religion, belief or accomplishments. For Prophet Samson Olatoke, the founder of Ileri Ayo Cherubim and Seraphim Church, Ikirun, arrested by the Osun State Police Command for confining his 20-year-old daughter in an unkept house alone due to her physical challenge, he said his daughters predicament started when she was four years old.
According to Olatoke, Opeyemi was taken to the home of the physically challenged in the state but due to the poor condition of the home, she was brought back and confined in the abandoned family house.
“We tried our best to find a cure for her disabilities but all to no avail. She can’t walk and also use her right hand. These strange ailments struck her when she was four years old,” the father said.
Also speaking, Opeyemi’s mother said her daughter’s disabilities started at the age of four. She added that Opeyemi suddenly woke up from sleep with a loud scream and ever since that day, she had been unable to walk and use her hands.
“We have tried our best to ensure that Opeyemi becomes normal again. My two shops collapsed in my efforts to ensure that my daughter was healed. It was after all my efforts proved abortive that we took her to the family house. I stay in my son’s house,” the mother narrated.
Meanwhile, Opeyemi’s father and elder brother, Elijah Olatoke, are still in police custody in Ikirun.
The Police arrested the duo for confining Opeyemi in a desolated and stinking room without care and attention.
The Hope gathered that Miss Opeyemi Olatoke had been confined for over five years by her parents and siblings, owing to her physical disabilities.
It was learnt that the pale-looking Opeyemi, aged 20, was said to have been struck with “mysterious disabilities” when she was four years old.
Her parents, Prophet and Mrs Samson Olatoke, were said to have given up on her before isolating her at their family house, (an old and muddy house), situated at Alfa Fire area in Obaagun Street, Ikirun, the headquarters of Ifelodun Local Government Area of Osun State.
The disabled lady was said to have been left in the house all alone while the two entry doors to the house were always under lock and keys.
It was gathered that the house where Opeyemi was kept had no electricity supply and the only window that should ventilate the room housing the lady was permanently locked in order to prevent people from discovering that someone was living in the house.
The Hope gathered that Opeyemi’s elder brother, Elijah Olatoke, would visit her to drop food for her.
But respite came Opeyemi’s way when a resident of the state contacted a Non-Governmental Organisation in the state, Value Female Network (VFN), through its toll-free rescue line and disclosed to the NGO that a girl was being locked up in a room by her parents for having disabilities.
The gender officer of VFN, Adewumi Yagboyaju, said, upon receiving the information, a rescue team of the NGO swung into action and visited the said house on January 4, 2021.
Yagboyaju said, “When our team got to the house, we discovered that it was locked and we asked around but residents were afraid to reveal to us that there was someone living in the apparently desolated building.
“We furthered our investigation until we were able to confirm from some traders around that a lady had been confined for some years but that people were afraid to reveal it because they feared her father.
“After this, we approached the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs to join us in rescuing the physically challenged lady.”
On Saturday, January 23, 2021, respite came the way of Opeyemi when teams from the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs and Value Female Network (VFN) stormed the house and rescued her.
In company with security agents of the Joint Task Force, Opeyemi’s parents were fetched to open the door for the welfare officers and social workers to behold the condition of the confined lady.
It was discovered that the room where Opeyemi was kept was unkempt and stinking because she defecates and urinates in the same place. Also, there was no ventilation in the dark room.
Opeyemi was rescued and taken to the Osun State Government Hospital, Asubiaro, on the orders of the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Olubukola Olaboopo.
When the O’Ambulance took the physically challenged lady to the hospital, she was admitted after the intervention of the State Commissioner for Health, Rafiu Isamotu.
Isamotu visited the hospital to see the PWD and asked that she should be attended to.

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