by ‘Jola Sotubo
A young girl in Bayelsa, who is said to have been locked behind wooden bars by her parents, has been freed.
The girl is claimed to have been locked in the wooden cage for more than 2 years after being accused of witchcraft by her family.
The teenage victim, identified as Blessing Olokumo, was said to have been suffering from a strange illness which made her lose control of her bowels.
According to Tonyon Ebitei Robert, the acting President of the foundation which rescued her, the strange illness led to the isolation of the girl by her parents due to her alleged constant incidence of defecation and soiling of the house.
Father of the girl, who is also a twin, allegedly built the cage and locked up the girl to keep her away from the main house.
“She was kept like a rabbit. She was given food when it is available and was allowed to sleep in her vomit, faeces and urine. She lost weight and could have died,” Robert alleged.
According to her, the group known for its campaign against maltreatment of twin child in the state, was contacted by concerned indigenes of Okolobiri community where the Olokumo family resides.
The first attempt by members of the group to reach the caged child was allegedly rebuffed by the father but their next trip was fruitful as he handed the child to them.
The rescued child was reportedly taken to the teaching hospital for proper medical treatment.
Though the father of the girl could not be reached for comment as he was said to have absconded from home, some indigenes of the community condemned the act, describing it as callous and wicked.