A housewife, Bisola Anthony, who was on the run after allegedly using a stirring rod to assault her two-year-old daughter because of her inability to properly recite numerals, has been apprehended by the operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps attached to the Child Development Centre of the Ondo State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.
PUNCH Metro gathered that Bisola, while teaching the victim numerals around 8pm, on Tuesday, at her place of residence on Danjuma Street in the Akure South Local Government Area of Ondo State, allegedly beat the child with the stirring rod when she realised that the victim had failed to comprehend the lesson.
Our correspondent learnt that the cry of the victim prompted neighbours to enter her parent’s apatment to plead with the mother, only to realise that the girl had sustained some injuries as her body was stained with blood.
A neighbour, Tope Boyede, who posted the news of the assault on his Facebook page, when contacted, condemned Bisola’s action, saying that the fact that the child could not comprehend what the mother was teaching her did not mean she should be assaulted to that extent.
Boyede, who said the father of the victim acknowledged that his wife was fond of beating their daughter, added that when child protection officers from the state Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, visited the victim’s house to arrest her mother, Bisola ran away.
The civil servant said, “The victim’s mother and I live in the same compound on Danjuma Street. How we got to know about the child being molested was that when the mother was beating her with a stirring rod, because she could not recite the numerals from one to 200, the neighbour, whose room is close to that of the child’s parents, heard the girl crying.
“Neighbours tried to rescue the girl from the mother, but what they saw was very bad; there was blood on the victim’s body. Apparently, the mother was teaching her daughter the numerals but when the victim could not recite them, the mother started beating her with a stirring rod. The child is just around two year old and the fact that she could not comprehend what the mother was teaching her shouldn’t make the mother beat her to the extent of inflicting injuries on her.
“I still saw the mother this morning (Tuesday) before I went to report at the ministry. When I got there, the ministry released some officials, who accompanied me to the house to arrest her. But when we got home, she had already fled with her children. I believe she went out as usual, but the officials have assured us that she would be arrested.”
When contacted, the Director, Child Development, Ondo State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Oluwaniyi Ogunleye, confirmed Bisola’s arrest, and the recovery of the child in a telephone conversation with our correspondent on Saturday.
Ogunleye stated, “People have been coming to find out about the case and this is a testimony to the fact that people are becoming more alive to the need to protect children in our various communities and the country as a whole. We mobilised child protection officers to the victim’s home and by the time we got there, the woman and her husband had absconded.
“When the parents and the victim were nowhere to be found, we engaged people who live around and they testified to the information. We mounted surveillance across the place to apprehend the parents.
“The state government is committed to the cause of children in the state. We have the backing of the governor to ensure that the child gets justice. The victim’s mother will be charged to court as soon as investigation into the case is completed.”