by Chinwe Okafor
Abandoning your child at a petrol station because you are angry? Well, that is what this mother did when she left her 9-year-old boy, identified only as Kingsley, at a filling station at Adetola bus stop on Ijaiye Road, Agbado, Lagos State.
What could he have possibly done? According to reports by Punch Newspapers, Blessing, allegedly beat the boy up for “greeting a neighbour.”
She was said to have brought the boy from Ojuelegba, where they live and dumped him at the station around 7am, telling him that she wanted to buy some items at a nearby shop. She never came back.
The boy was found sitting in a tricycle alone and starved and some kind hearted people bought food for him before he was taken to the Ijaiye Police Station around 11am.
Narrating what transpired to warrant the scars found on his body, Kinglsey blamed his mother saying, “Mummy beat me because I greeted our neighbour. She and the neighbour are quarrelling and she warned me not to greet her. She beat me with a stick when she saw me with the woman.”
Apparently, he is also is a victim of a broken home, “My mother and I moved to Lagos from Calabar (Cross River State) after she divorced my daddy. I live in Ojuelegba with her and my stepfather, Jonathan. She beats me every day. She will give me lashes for not waking up early to do domestic chores. At times, she won’t give me food to punish me.”
The people who came to his rescue narrated their own side of the story upon discovering the primary two pupil at their place of work, one of which is an employee of the filling station, who gave his name only as Deji. He said the mother would be attacked by an angry mob if she came back, “I don’t know what the world is turning to. When some families are still praying to have children, a mother is maltreating her own to the point of dumping him. What could he have done to warrant being treated in such a heartless manner?
“This place was crowded in the morning and we did not know when she dumped him. He was sitting in a tricycle when I approached him. Some angry youths just left here. They would have given his mother the beating of her life if she had come back.”
Another helper, who did not want his name in print, said he saw the boy sitting helplessly in a corner in the filling station. He added that the boy was so hungry that he gulped the food and drink that were bought for him, “I was coming back from the office and popped over to buy petrol.
I saw the boy sitting in a corner. There was blood in his head and hands. We decided to buy him rice and a drink. He was taken to the Ijaiye Police Station and they promised to take him to hospital to treat his injuries.”
The Supervisor of the filling station, Adeola Olufunwa, said she was nearly detained at the station on the matter, “I was the one who noticed the boy’s presence around us and I alerted my colleagues. But funny enough, the police wanted to detain me for a case I knew nothing about.”