By Suzan Edeh, Bauchi
It is the dream of every woman to conceive and give birth to a child of her own. Indeed, most women can do anything to have children, particularly those who face the challenge of conception.
It is, however, inconceivable that while many women embrace and cherish this special gift from God, others have through their actions given the impression that babies are a curse rather blessing and even go as far as murdering their babies in cold blood without feeling guilty or remorseful of their heartless actions. It is a development that has always left many people wondering why anyone would bring a baby into the world and then treat it in such wicked manner.
Particularly worrisome are media reports which seem to indicate an upsurge in abandoned or dead babies found either in the refuse dumps, toilets or soak-away. Only recently, residents of Gwallameji community were thrown into a state of shock when they woke up to discover the decomposing body of a new born baby which had been dumped in a refuse site in the area.
Vanguard Metro gathered that the body of the baby was dumped the previous night when residents of the area had gone to bed. It was the offensive odour and flies that hung around the refuse site that attracted the attention of the people whose search eventually led to the discovery.
When VM visited the area, a crowd of curious onlookers had gathered at the waste dump. The dead body of the obviously new born male baby was found wrapped in a soiled cloth together with the placenta. It was obvious that the baby was killed before being dumped at the waste site.
Residents were overheard lamenting and cursing the as-yet unknown perpetrator of the act. Some wondered why a woman would carry a baby for nine months, give birth and then throw the child away.
“This is an act of wickedness. How can someone do this when several people are looking for children?” a woman wondered aloud. Sa’adatu Usman, a resident of Gwalameji, said she was jolted awake from sleep by voices of people talking outside her window. And when she came out to see what was happening, the sight that greeted her left her speechless in shock.
“I came out and saw the lifeless body of a baby lying there on the refuse dump. This is not fair, honestly. How can a woman do this to a baby she carried in her womb for nine months. Why won’t she keep the baby and train him? Or why won’t she give the baby out to those who are in need?
“Better still, the mother of this baby would have wrapped him in a clean cloth and kept him safely in a place where people can pick him up and take him to a motherless babies home. This is inhuman,” she stated.
A Gwalameji community leader Hassan Ibrahim told newsmen that he was bitter about the development, describing it as a “disaster”. He said he had contacted the Police regarding the matter.
“I was still sleeping at home when someone called me on phone to say that they had seen the corpse of a new born baby at a refuse dump site behind one house by the road in Gwallameji.
“So I rushed to the scene and I have seen it for myself and have contacted the DPO (Divisional Police Officer), Yelwa Divisional Headquarters, so that they can come and take the corpse and know what to do with it.
“I was bitter when I saw it because this is a disaster. My heart is still bitter because this is not the first time this is happening in this area.”
Hassan called on residents to be vigilant and check on women who they know are pregnant and cannot account for their babies. He alleged that the perpetrator of the crime may have come from a distant place to dump the baby there.
“I want to call on residents of Gwallameji to be more vigilant and monitor people in the area so that when a woman who they know to be pregnant is suddenly without it and cannot account for the baby, they should raise an alarm.
“The woman who did this must have come from a far place. She dumped the baby here at the refuse dump and this has become a problem for us.”
Hassan recalled that five years ago a similar incident had occurred where a woman, who was later arrested, had given birth to a baby at a different location, but had dumped it in Gwallameji.
“If people living in Gwallameji will be more vigilant, cases like this will be reduced, because if a pregnant woman cannot account for the baby or the pregnancy, then it means she gave birth and killed the child,” Hassan said.
An eyewitness, Mrs Becky Musa, told VM that the baby should be between four to five months, saying: “This is an act of wickedness. How can someone do this when several people are looking for a precious gift such as this?”