Oyo Govt Rescues 74-Yr-Old Woman From Mob Action
The Oyo State government has rescued a 74-year-old homeless woman, Madam Silifatu Olawale, who was accused of possession of witch-craft, from mob action in Ibadan, the state capital.
The mentally-challenged woman has been handed over to her relatives by the state Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, Alhaja Kafilat Olayiwola.
The commissioner said: “About two weeks ago, we received an urgent call about an unclad woman in front of the State Secretariat main entrance gate who was wrongfully accused of being a witch, thereby leading to serious beating.
“We swung into action immediately and rescue her from being lynched by the angry mob. We took her to one of our centers for adequate care and protection.
“Thank God that, today, the state government has rehabilitated her and she now in her stable mind to return to her family hale and hearty.”
Narrating her ordeal, the septuagenarian said she was once a petty trader at Agbeni Market and later moved to Bodija Market, both in Ibadan, doing menial jobs for survival before the incident occurred.
“I gave birth to seven children; I lost four to untimely death and the most painful one was when I lost my twins to the cold hands of death and later my husband died too.
“I was distressed and some people wanted to collect the only property my husband left for me which is an uncompleted building that I used as shelter,” she said.
Madam Olawale further said: “On the day that the state government rescued my soul, I went to Bodija Market for my usual menial job; I usually carry loads for people.
“They accused me that I am a witch. They tore all my clothes and wished me death. But God, in His infinite mercy, rescued my soul. I am grateful to Governor Seyi Makinde for the show of love.”
Receiving his mother, Mr Taiwo Olawale, who was accompanied by her aunty, Mrs Nosiratu Buhari, appreciated the state government for its timely intervention and the adequate care and protection given to his mother.
He explained that his mother has been battling with an unstable state of mind since1999 and the family has been getting medical attention until recently when the situation degenerated to unpleasant state.
The commissioner, Alhaja Olayiwola, in a statement, condemned the act of jungle justice and unjust treatment of suspected mentally-ill persons in the society by members of the public.
She said the act is barbaric and traumatising and advised members of the public to always hand over such cases to the appropriate authorities for further investigation, as wrongful acts are not reversible.
Alhaja Olayiwola, who spoke through the Director of Administrative and Supplies, Mr Olumuyiwa Olagoke, said: “our people should be cautious and avoid unlawful deeds that can truncate the peaceful atmosphere in the state.”