Sunday, January 5, 2014

Mentally ill woman delivers baby at rubbish dump


Amudatulai, Baby Odunayo and Some residents pose with Amudatulai
For four years, she was known to wander the street of Badejo Kalesanwo, Oduduwa Community, in Mushin Local Government Area Lagos State.
 She slept on the road, ate from bins and went about in tatters.
 Some months ago, people saw her with a protruding belly and dismissed it as fibroid growth.
 However, on the morning of December 25, 2013 the unknown mad woman, who identified herself to PUNCH Metro as Amudatulai, a native of Ibadan in Oyo State, went into labour and self-delivered a baby girl as residents watched in awe.
 Eyewitnesses said she immediately named the baby girl Mariam Olorundamilare Odunayo (Olorundamilare, means God has given me the victory, while Odunayo means, the year of Joy).
 A resident, who identified herself simply as Mama Adoyo, said Amudatulai delivered the baby by the dump site situated along the newly-tarred road.
 She said, “I have known her for a long time. She used to sit and sleep on that road. When we saw her protruding stomach, we didn’t know she was pregnant. We thought it was fibroid. But around 6am on Wednesday, she was crying and screaming my name and other people’s names in the area because we play with her a lot.
 “I later moved close to her and when I saw it was labour pains, I asked her to let us go to the hospital, but she said no, insisting that she could see people bathing her baby, whereas she had not delivered by that time.
 “I kept my eyes on her as she was screaming. Suddenly, the baby came out. We didn’t know on time, but a driver who was passing by called our attention that we should move closer to her because she had given birth.
 “We had to quickly call a nurse who came to cut the placenta. The nurse later injected her and cleaned her up.”
 Mama Adoyo said one of the community leaders donated money to assist in buying some materials, as other people in the neighbourhood trooped out with old and new clothes for the mother and child.
 A female worker with the Lagos State Waste Management Authority, Mrs. Modupe Salami, who cleans the street, told our correspondent that although Amudatulai still raved after the delivery of the baby, she was generally well behaved and could be rescued with a good medical help.
 PUNCH Metro learnt that a man who claimed to be a brother of the new mother had been calling some of the residents on the telephone to keep an eye on Amudatulai, adding that he would come to take her back to Ibadan.
 The said brother was also said to have claimed that Amudatulai had three other children in Ibadan.
 A community leader, Alhaji Babatunde Shittu, appealed for the intervention of relevant government agencies before an imposter took advantage of the situation.
 Shittu said, “I must say that we all are concerned as to how she came about the pregnancy. We don’t even know where she came from since she came here four years ago. Government should take care of both the mother and the child. There is no way you can compare someone who is sane with someone who is not. Again, she is homeless and needs good accommodation. People are only guessing that her family members are coming. If this lady has good medical care, she will be normal.”
Our correspondent observed on Friday that she was being sheltered along with her baby in a shop on the street.
The dimly-lit wooden structure had a mattress and a mosquito net for the new baby.
Our correspondent also observed as excited residents gathered round the shelter to catch a glimpse of the baby and give her money.
Our correspondent asked Amudatulai how she felt about her new baby, and the attention she was getting.
She said, “I am so happy today. I know my portion is joy in this Lagos. And my joy will not end…” At this point, she began to rave and abuse a woman beside her, asking for papers to show ownership of an unidentified portion of land.

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