Naomi Adamu, one of the abducted Chibok girls is currently battling a kidney condition and is unable to raise the financial resources for a recommended surgery. The 27-year-old student of the American University of Nigeria (AUN), Yola, has reportedly been in a hospital in the northeast for three weeks where she is currently being denied treatment. Naomi’s mother, Kolo Adamu, who has been in the hospital with her daughter for the past three weeks is pleading with the Nigerian government and AUN to come to her daughter’s aid.
According to Adamu, the hospital has not treated Naomi for four days claiming that they are out of medicine supply. “At first, the hospital gave her drip and medicine, but for the past four days they haven’t given her any because they said the medicine is finished,” she said. “The doctor has not shown up. I am confused.”
Naomi said the pain in her abdomen started while she was in captivity, but she was treated by a doctor who was kidnapped by Boko Haram. Once the pain resurfaced and probably intensified last month, her school referred her to a government hospital in Yola after a scan revealed she had a kidney condition and the school’s doctor recommended surgery. “The pain is too much. Anything I eat, I vomit,” Naomi told writer, Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani, over a phone conversation.
So far, neither AUN nor the federal government has come to Naomi’s aid, and it does not seem like they intend to. Instead, both parties have bounced blame and responsibility back and forth. The school has said they are not responsible for the young woman’s health and welfare, while a spokeswoman for the ministry of women’s affairs has said the school fees paid by the government included medical bills. “The federal government has handed over the girls to their parents after paying their school fees and everything. The school should take care of her (Naomi)” said Suleiman Dantsoho.
“This is not the reality we arranged with President Buhari. They (the government) said they will take care of our daughters … make sure that they don’t suffer again,” Yakubu Nkeki, the chairman of the Chibok parents’ association said. According to him, Naomi and five other Chibok girls who attend AUN are suffering from injuries acquired during their time in Boko Haram’s camp, but the government is shifting responsibility for their healthcare.
The past three weeks in the hospital is the longest Adamu has spent with her daughter since the abduction that got the world talking. “But each day has been fraught with pain and tears,” writes Nwaubani. Sometimes, Naomi rolls about on the floor or soaks herself in cold water due to the intense pain she feels. She is also concerned for her mother who could only make the long trip from Chibok to Yola from donations.
“She told me that if she knew her health would be such a burden on me, she would have stayed back in the forest, that statement pained me so much,” said Adamu. Naomi has said if the government will not take responsibility for her healthcare, she should be allowed to return to school so that her mother can return to Chibok.