A 16-year-old boy, identified as Sadiqu Daura, who was confined to a cage for four years by his father because of his condition, has been freed.
Sadiqu’s father, Mallam Salisu Daura, confirmed the development when a team from a non-government organisation, Save the Children, visited his house in Daura, Katsina State, on Tuesday.
The organisation is at the forefront of those protecting the boy’s interest to ensure that he lives a normal life.
Salisu told the team, “I regret my actions and it’ll never happen again. The people, who took up this case, are not my enemies. They will live long, because I’ll keep praying for their success. They’ve helped me and I’ve now realised my mistakes.
“I don’t have enough rooms in the house as you can see. I didn’t put him in the cage to punish him or because I don’t love him. It was just my way of allocating a room to him.”
The father of 16, who is also a tailor, showed Sadiqu’s new room, which is about 90 per cent complete, to the team.
Investigation revealed that Sadiqu’s predicament started when he lost his mother six years ago.
Being a cripple, he was then taken to his paternal grandmother, who also died shortly thereafter.
Sadiqu was thereafter brought back to his father’s house and was put inside a cage because of his condition.
It was learnt that a change agent of the Save the Children in Daura, Mallam Aminu Gambo, drew the attention of the organisation to Sadiqu’s plight and the NGO consequently took it up.
“Upon finding out about Sadiqu’s predicament, we swung into action by first visiting the house. We took the matter to the Police Area Commander, who sent us to the command headquarters in Katsina,” Gambo stated.
A top police source revealed that Sadiqu is mentally ill, a development which he said occasionally affected his behaviour and interaction with people.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity said, “The father is not wicked. We all have our individual challenges. When the matter was brought to our notice, we carried out our investigation and we discovered that apart from being crippled, the boy is also mentally ill.
“We directed the father to ensure that the boy is well taken care of. And this, the father did according to his ability.”