An eight-year-old girl now lies critically ill in hospital in the Adamawa State capital, Yola, after her father cut into her throat with a kitchen knife.
The father who is believed to be suffering a psychological problem after a long time of drug abuse said upon being asked by neighbours why he turned against his daughter, that he just felt like doing it.
The story broke Wednesday afternoon when one of the people at the Yola town neighbourhood where the incident took place, complained on her Facebook page that they took the girl to the hospital and they were having difficulty in getting a doctor to attend to her.
The Nation correspondent who was one of the newsmen who mobilised to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Yola, however, found that the girl had already been stabilised and admitted at the emergency unit of the hospital.
On interaction with neighbours, the correspondent gathered that the father acquired some wealth from cattle trading and even went for the Muslim pilgrimage last year, but that he started taking drugs at some point, as a result of which his mental balance and business fortunes declined rapidly.
“His wife became really worried when the man began to threaten that he would slaughter members of the family one by one,” one of the neighbours, Maryam Umar, said, adding that the man’s wife, Fadimatu, responded by taking all the kitchen knives away.
She could not say where the man, Seidu Dan Iya, got the knife with which he sliced the throat of his daughter who now lies between life and death.
The doctor who attended to little Zarau Seidu, Elkannah Patrick, said the girl has a 50-50 chance of survival.
The ENT doctor told newsmen that he had cleaned up the site of the cut and would now source the right tool for a more comprehensive surgery, and reiterated that the girl had half a chance to live.
“We cannot determine yet if there is infection. We hope there is none because infection will seriously imperil her chances of survival,” he said.
The Head of Clinical Services of the FMC, Yola, Dr Yerima Suleiman Yusuf, said the hospital would treat little Zarau free of charge.
He said, “We have a Paupers’ Fund from which we will treat this patient because we realize that the mother is not ready and the father is a psychiatric case.”
The man is currently with the police, giving the Adamawa State Police Command the second psychiatric case in less than two weeks following the case in Mubi last week of a man who killed his wife and reported that he thought he was fighting a stranger.