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Published On: Tue, Mar 4th, 2014

Man with 10-year snake bite needs govt assistance in Niger

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From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna

Snakes, right from time immemorial, have never been a friend to human beings; rather, they are considered as evil. or spoiler. Therefore, human beings should be very aware of snakes, either small or big and do their utmost best to stay away from them.

A young promising man, who had his future, which was bright as the rising star, shattered within a second; it was about 10years ago, precisely 2004, when this young man, Mohammed Jiya Gbage, from Ebbo/Gbacinku ward of Lapai local government area of Niger state had an encounter with this uninvited ‘guest’ at his yam farm around 10 am in the morning.

On this fateful day, Mohammed, whose community is predominantly agrana, had gone to his farm to do some cultivation before the snake, from nowhere, appeared and gave him a bite on his right leg, leaving the poison within the body of the helpless man who could not move around since then.

He said immediately he had the attack he was demobilised and had to be wheeled back home by people who came to rescue him.

Upon inquiry by the sympathizers, Mohammed told them he was unable to kill the snake because of the severe pain he went through; however, there and then, youths mobilized themselves and went to the farm in search of the dangerous creature, which they found and killed 8 hours later after the havoc had been done.

Mohammed was first taken to a village called Agaga, in Koton-Karfe local government area of Kogi state, where they have a traditional snakebite specialist, but which couldn’t yield any positive result after three days; according to him, he was then rushed to general hospital, Lokoja for treatment.

Since then the leg has developed a sore that could not heal up till date. “This I wish could have died by then and will now be resting in the bosom of the creator (Allah); those who died are free from all these kind of pains I am feeling now; You can see one of my toes is gone now; it is biting me inside” he lamented.

Mohammed is a holder of Diploma in Accounting in 1998, and was born in 1972; he had worked with Amugu community bank, Muye before it was closed down.

The most sympathetic thing about Mohammed is that while he was undergoing this agony, going from one hospital to another, his wife from his 22 year-old marriage is blessed with 4 children; two boys, two girls. His wife, Halima, who is also from the same village with him, has gone to court and obtained a divorce order and packed her bag and luggage, and has already remarried another man, leaving her erstwhile sick husband to his own fate.

When contacted on phone, the former wife, Halima told our reporter that “that is how God wanted it to be but will not comment further.”

The ten year-old snakebite has turned into a cancer,which has resisted all sorts of medication even at the IBB Specialist Hospital, Minna where he was admitted for three weeks without any improvement.

Mohammed, whose problem, in conjunction with that of the wife has earlier sought the assistance of Niger state government, corporate organisations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and good-spirited individuals to come to the aid of the victim, to enable him have a proper medical treatment.

While all hope is not lost yet, Mohammed has been advised to visit Dala Orthopedic Hospital, Kano for proper diagnosis.

For further enquiry on how to help Citizen Mohammed, he can be reached on the following numbers 09034643517 or 08052885569 or his friend and writer 08160315196 and 08057763774.


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