AN ORPHAN’S HORROR: ‘God saved me from murderous sister-in-law’

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By Taye Obateru & Bernard Lucas
What level of anger would make a woman want another human being dead or incapacitated? What more if the person concerned is a relation of her spouse? These are some of the questions agitating the minds of residents of Lomak Street in Laranto area of Jos where a woman poured bubbling hot water on her late husband’s cousin after a disagreement. But for mother luck which made him duck instinctively as the hot water came on him, 16-year old Kim Henry Davou could have been worse off as his eyes and face were saved.

However, the left part of his head down to his waste was scorched by the hot water leaving him in pain and anguish. Kim, an orphaned secondary school leaver who has been under the care of his grandmother, told Sunday Vanguard his story:

‘’It was in the morning at about past 7. on the 17th of November when I lighted fire in the kitchen so that I could  bath and go to church.  My aunty, that is, my late cousin’s wife, lives with us. Her child had slept in my grandmother’s room and urinated on her bed.  In the morning when she came to clean the urine, she used my bathing sponge instead of the rag that my grandmother asked her to use.  She said that the rag was dirty, so she used my sponge which I bath with.

‘’When I saw it, I told her, ‘“aunty, this thing you did is not good. Why did you use my bathing sponge to clean the urine when grandmother  told you to use the rag?’  Then she started insulting me.  So I went out to the kitchen to prepare pap but she followed me and was still abusing me and told me that I will soon join my father in the grave.  Then I replied her that it was God that took his (father) life, and, because I was angry, I told her that before I die, she will die before me.
‘’Then I left the kitchen for  our room to take the pap, she followed me and kept insulting me. Then she pushed me and the pap poured on the wall.  I came out to tell my grandmother about what was happening. She, my cousin’s wife, now went to the kitchen and was saying that the water I put on fire is the one that she will bath me with.  So, when I got inside and my grandmother came to look at what was going on, she had already fetched the boiling water, and, before I could realize, she threw the water at me targeting my face. I dodged instinctively. If not, the boiled water could have injured the whole of my face, but, as you can see, it only affected, left part of my body.

‘’I have been receiving medical attention from  Hwolarza Traditional Hospital. When the incident occurred, I was rushed to a private hospital but the treatment was not satisfactory.We then headed to the Plateau Specialist Hospital, and they said there was no bed space. So on our way to JUTH somebody now called us that there is a man in Hwolarza that  treats this kind of complication.  Since then I have been receiving treatment here.”
Kim lamented that quick recovery was his major concern so that he could  continue with his education, adding, “I’m appealing to government to come to my aid. I’m an orphan.  I have already finished my secondary school, hoping to further my education.”

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Kim’s grandmother, Rahila David Tok, who has been the one taking care of him, said she had forgiven her daughter-in-law, but insisted that she must leave the house, and thanked public spirited individuals and organizations for their support since the incident happened. The woman alleged to have poured the hot water could, however, not be reached as she was said to have been arrested by the police.

While the law waits to take its course, Kim says he looks into the future with hope to regain his health and find ways to further his education.

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