Baby sur­vives blast that killed mother, granny, un­cle

Buhari vis­its vic­tims at hos­pi­tal

Daily Trust - - FRONT PAGE - By Judd-Leonard Okafor

The fa­ther of the 11-month-old girl, Ife­oluwa, who was se­verely in­jured in Kuje bomb blast has ap­peared at her hos­pi­tal bed with more heart-rend­ing story.

Sam­son Olu told hos­pi­tal work­ers yesterday that the girl’s mother, grand­mother and un­cle had all died in the blast.

No fewer than 18 peo­ple were con­firmed dead af­ter blasts rocked Kuje and Nyanya in Abuja on Fri­day.

The girl’s aunt was among 13 oth­ers who sus­tained in­juries and were evac­u­ated to Na­tional Hos­pi­tal's Trauma Cen­tre by emer­gency res­cue work­ers, Fri­day.

The trauma teams work­ing on peo­ple in­jured in the blast could not im­me­di­ately iden­tify Ife­oluwa's par­ents among the nine copses or in­jured per­sons brought into Na­tional Hos­pi­tal's mor­tu­ary.

"We can't find the par­ents for now," Tayo Haas­trup, the hos­pi­tal's chief in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer told Daily Trust on Satur­day as Ife­oluwa fought for her life. "The more im­por­tant thing is now let's just take care of the baby," he had added.

But her fa­ther, Sa­muel Olu, who ap­peared yesterday at the hos­pi­tal said he only hoped that God would be mer­ci­ful on his daugh­ter. He said he iden­ti­fied his daugh­ter --their only child-- by a piece of the shawl which his wife had strapped their baby to her back.

His wife, Chris­tiana, 25, who was un­der­go­ing a diploma pro­gramme at Nasarawa Poly­tech­nic re­turned to Abuja only on Fri­day, to help out at her mother's shop, a gar­den near Kuje main mar­ket, Olu said.

The fam­ily had closed busi­ness and were walk­ing home in a sin­gle file across the mar­ket when the bomb ex­ploded, he said.

"My wife's brother was in front. My wife car­ried our baby on her back. Her mother was be­hind her and her sis­ter was in the back," he nar­rated at the hos­pi­tal on Sun­day.

The blast tore through the mar­ket, killing 15 peo­ple, ac­cord­ing to ac­counts, in­clud­ing Ife­oluwa's en­tire fam­ily but spar­ing her aunt.

Even though Olu lost "my wife, my moth­erin-law, my brother-in­law,” he had not shed a tear since Satur­day. He said he had not the time to do that. “Three of them are dead. My daugh­ter sur­vived, and is very, very in­jured.”

Her right foot is dam­aged, and the fourth and fifth toes “are off,” her fa­ther said.

“Un­der her foot, it is as if the blast ate it. You can see through to the bones of the three toes left be­hind,” he added.

Ife­oluwa’s right eye is also swollen, along with scrapes and bruises on the right side of her body.

Her car­ers moved her from triage into the chil­dren and fe­male ward on Sun­day af­ter­noon, in prepa­ra­tion for surgery.

The Na­tional Hos­pi­tal reg­u­la­tions do not al­low male adults stay with pa­tients in fe­male wards and Olu has not been able to pro­duce an adult fe­male who will be with Ife­oluwa.

The girl's aunt, be­ing treated at Na­tional Hos­pi­tal, is still re­cov­er­ing and she is not yet aware that her mother, sis­ter and brother were dead.

"I don't want to dis­turb her with that news yet," said Olu. But he in­sists his daugh­ter is do­ing well in hos­pi­tal.

"I'm hop­ing, we are all hop­ing in the Lord. We thank God that af­ter ev­ery­thing that's hap­pened, He's still there. And I'm just try­ing to be strong."

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