At 12, the world of Queen (surname withheld) has literally turned upside down. Her dreams are crumbling as she undergoes medical treatment owing to alleged abuse by her father, Bamekpa.
Her injuries are serious enough to warrant urgent surgery in one of the hospitals in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
Queen is no doubt in pains. At a point, she bled profusely from her private part.
Her father, who hails from Imiringi, Ogbia Local Government Area, Bayelsa State, allegedly started to defile her at the age of 11.
He was alleged to have serially raped and eventually impregnated her. Then he forced her to abort a four-month-old pregnancy through a crude process that currently threatens her life.
Queen told Operation Rescue (OPER), a human rights group, led by Princess Elizabeth Egbe, that she ran away from the house when she could no longer bear her fatherâ€™s devilish craving.
She said: â€œThere was nobody to help me. He kept doing it despite my efforts to stop him. It was a painful and violent experience. I ran away from home because there was a time I bled so much from my private part.â€
Sobbing, she said: â€œWhen I became pregnant and he heard about it, he handed me over to a lady who took me through an unsuccessful process of abortion. I have been suffering series of health issues after the abortion.â€
Speaking on the travails of his niece, her uncle, David Apigi, expressed shock at the way she was allegedly violated by her father.
He said: â€œMy niece told me the trauma she has been passing through in her fatherâ€™s house and how her father has been using her, turning her to his second wife.
â€œShe said he had sex with her to the extent that he aborted her four-month-old pregnancy. She ran to me and begged me not to allow her to return to her fatherâ€™s house because she was tired. I decided to accommodate her. The father started looking for her without knowing she was with me.â€
He said he reported the matter to the Kolo Police Station but asked them to hold on to enable him make some investigations. He said after his investigations, he called his cousin, Rex Ogboku, in Abuja who reported the matter to the Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA).
But FIDA was sluggish in the way it handled the matter, Apigi noted. â€œMy cousin, Rex Ogboku, in Abuja called FIDA to inform them about the situation. But the way FIDA was going about the issue was too sluggish for my liking. I decided to contact the Operation Rescue.
â€œWe went back to the police and the Otuasiga Police Station arrested the man. The process through which the Otuasiga Police Station was handling the case was not satisfactory.
â€œImagine a situation where somebody was arrested and while in detention he was still having access to his phone, making calls. He even called me. He called my uncle, trying to plead with him for settlement. I moved the case to Kolo Police Station.â€
He said his nieceâ€™s father was notorious for sexual perversion, alleging also that he had slept with his biological sisters. He said the suspect repeatedly had carnal knowledge of his cousinâ€™s daughter and forced her to commit abortion five times.
He said some of his victims were ready to testify against him. Egbe also lamented the condition of the girl and called on the society to protect the girl-child.
She said: â€œOur investigations showed that the little girl had been perpetually raped by her father who impregnated her and forced her through abortion that has left her with so many health problems.
â€œWhen the girl was pregnant, she did not know. Her stepmother discovered she was pregnant and informed the father. The father handed her over to a lady who took her to a quack doctor for an abortion.
â€œAfter the abortion, the girl came back home and discovered she was bleeding from her private part. The father took her to that same lady who then took her to other places. The girl is still in pains and highly traumatised. She has been going through series of medical treatments.
â€œWe want the police to really investigate this matter and get to the root of the case. We want the doctor to be arrested, and we want everybody that is involved to be arrested and prosecuted to serve as deterrent to other people who are involved in this act of perpetual evil against the girl-child. The girl-child is tender and has a lot to contribute to nation-building.â€