Nigeria: How Father Buries Own Day Old Baby Alive in Jigawa

Photo: Capital FM
(file photo)
13 February 2019

Ashiru Abubakar, 20 of Janbiri village in Birnin-Kudu local government, Jigawa state found himself entangled in the web of Islamic Jurisprudence, which forbids one from re-marry his former wife once divorced thrice, unless she remarries elsewhere.

Abubakar divorced his wife Husaina Yusuf, 20 thrice but his love to her remained fresh in his memory. Instead of resigning to his fate he decided to engage his former wife into illicit sexual intercourse which resulted into an unwanted pregnancy.

He therefore, attempted to reject the pregnancy but when his former wife stood her ground until he later accepted it.

Abubakar's woes seem far from ending, despite owning up to the pregnancy as his former wife, who hails from Tosowa village also in Birnin Kudu local government, insisted for the termination of the three months old pregnancy, telling him that she won't be able to stand the stigma attached to bearing of an illegitimate child in her locality.

For the fact that he only lives on a small income he generates from his commercial motorcycle business, Abubakar told her that he was not in a position to raise N30, 000 to N50, 000 for the abortion procedure, he advised his ex-wife to keep the pregnancy since the two kids they had while together had both died.

In order to press home her demand, Hussaina threatened to kill the baby at birth but Abubakar, was able to persuade her to drop the idea after agreeing to visit one of the private hospital in Kachako in neighbouring Kano state for the abortion procedure.

But she was later advised at the hospital not to terminate the pregnancy as there are possibility for her to experience a permanent damage to her uterus in which she would not be able to bear children again.

Despite warning by the medical experts and all entreaties against aborting the pregnancy, Hussaina went ahead with her plan of terminating the pregnancy that was already in its fifth to sixth months.

An agent for Travelling and Tour Company in Kano, who was processing a document on her behalf as she was planning to travel to Saudi Arabia in search for menial job, offered to help her get the pregnancy aborted.

Finally, Hussaina was convinced to spare the pregnancy.

After returning to her village, Husaina asked her younger brother to go to her former husband to collect the sum of N50,000 being the expenses she incurred while in Kano, which he could not give because he did not have as he claimed.

Failure to respond to her request, her younger brother seized his motorcycle for six days and that forced him to sell his only phone and gave the money to her in order to have his motorcycle back.

Penultimate Friday, Husaina's younger brother went to Abubakar and told him that his former wife had given birth to a baby girl at around noon and that by the following day they are bringing the child to him.

Since, he did not remarry after his separation with his former wife, Abubakar was thrown into confusion, not knowing what to do if the child was brought to him the following morning as threatened by his former wife's younger brother.

In order to save himself from the looming embarrassment, Abubakar thought of a plan for a solution which unfortunately landed him in bigger trouble.

On the fateful day, Abubakar, dashed to the village of his former wife, sneaked into her room and stole the baby but in his wisdom he decided to bury the day-old baby alive with a view to laying the impending troubles to rest.

Speaking to Chronicle at Jigawa state police command, Abubakar said he allowed the saga to go out of hand because he was doubting the authenticity of his former wife's claim of him being the father of the child, noting that though, he admitted, he did not take any action to justify his stand over the out of wedlock pregnancy.

He argued that by law he knew no woman is allowed to travel to Saudia Arabia while pregnant but his former wife claimed to have travelled the holly land while carrying his pregnancy.

He suspected that his former wife might have got the pregnancy while Saudi Arabia, claiming that he is not responsible for the pregnancy.

On why he did not seek for legal redress, Abubakar said at a point he thought of carrying the mother and the baby to a hospital for a test that would reveal whether or not he is the father of the baby.

On why he had to buried his own child alive, Abubakar, said "The mother said after giving birth, she will sit on the child until the baby dies but I pleaded with her that instead, let us look for someday that will nurse the baby. But it seems, all that I suggested went into a deaf ear. I, therefore, decided to steal the baby in order to save her the eminent danger. I buried the baby with the intention to remove her the following day in order to look for where she would be nursed.

I did not bury the baby with an intent to kill her."

Confirming, the arrest of the suspect, the Spokesperson of Jigawa state police Command, SP Abdu Jinjiri, said the suspect was arrested after that mother discovered that the following morning her baby was missing saying, the mother raised alarm which led the police to swing into action.

He explained that after an investigation, the police arrested the former husband who was alleged to be the father of the controversial baby.

"Ashiru Abubakar, led the police to the shallow grave in the nearby bush in Janbiri village where he buried the baby alive. Fortunately, the police exhumed the baby alive."

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