”I was advised to inject my son with a lethal substance to end the shame” –  Kogi First Lady, Amina Oyiza Bello Speaks on Cerebral Palsy

Amina Oyiza Bello, wife of Governor of Kogi State and Founder of Hayat Foundation which specializes in assisting children afflicted with cerebral palsy, has reason to worry over the continued neglect of children afflicted with this disorder.

She has suggested that government should enforce the provision of wheelchairs for physically challenged children and “shut down any school which discriminates against them.”

In a recent interview, Amina, who is a Barrister by profession, told journalists in Abuja how close friends and some family members mocked her for having a son, Hayatullah Yahaya Bello, who has cerebral palsy. She said she was advised to inject her son with a lethal substance to end the insults.

READ ALSO: David Cameron And Wife Reveal How Caring For Their Handicapped Son Almost Destroyed Their Marriage

In her words:

”Schools which discriminate against children who are living with physical and developmental challenges should be shut down. Before you set up a school, it must be accessible to these children with special needs. You must have special teachers or therapists in every class and of course you should be certified fit to open a school for special needs children.

There is also the stigma which starts from your immediate environment. People will be whispering when a child with special needs or his parents are around. This has made a lot of parents to live in depression. This is the reason why some parents choose to live in denial and lock up such children. I was advised to inject my son with harmful substance and some people advised me to take him to the village.”

Talking about her foundation and the challenges in having a child suffering from cerebral palsy, she said:

Amina Celebrating World Disability Day With Disable Children

”The NGO is personal to me. I have a son, who was born in 2007, and has cerebral palsy. Of course initially we didn’t know. We were living in denial; waiting for him to grow at the same pace with his peers. We traveled from country to country, seeking solution, that was when we discovered he has CP.

One of the major challenges is having a child with CP in a society not ready to easily accept a child with such a condition. When we show him too much love, people will say we used him for money ritual and when we don’t it’s like we’re hiding him.

I grew up with so much love and empathy for people in general. I love my son regardless and my husband, Alh Yahaya Adoza Bello, had to fight and put his feet down, insisting that the boy is his first son.

Our journey took us to John Hopkins Hospital in the USA, and we discovered that the hospital and the society were so caring. For the first time I realized that there was nothing wrong with my son; that we just happen to find ourselves in a society that is unaware of his condition. We thought of relocating, I also got inspired by the story of the Kennedy Krieger Institute.

It is an internationally recognized institution dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with disorders of the brain, spinal cord, and musculoskeletal system, which led to the existence of the hospital and the school in the first place.

So when I came back home, I started my NGO. And when my husband got into politics it was like I’ve found my calling and I couldn’t help but project the image of these children with cerebral palsy.

A lot of parents with such kids lock them behind closed doors. They should instead take them to their church or mosque where with time people could learn to accept them.

We had to start this advocacy and try to reorient our people. We have different kinds of children, some adjust medically. If we cannot have children that are okay all through then parents that have special children must have a shoulder to lean on.

Their attitude to it will determine how far they can go. Parents that are ashamed of their wards must understand that they are just children, just humans; it doesn’t mean that you should not care for them.

The government as well should make wheelchairs accessible in public places and special teachers for special students up to the university level. We are also working at establishing an institute which will look at severe cases. We also intend to have training centers for therapists so that teachers with NCE can come and be equipped with this basic knowledge of cerebral palsy.”

Advising parents with special children like hers;

”First of all they have to embrace who they are and then embrace their children regardless, and know that there is something special about their child.

Every child comes into this world for a purpose; they should not wallow in self-pity, and should not hold out against people that stigmatised them because they don’t know any better.

Interested parents could log into our website, hayatfoundation or facebook page. The sites are basically inspirational. Like the wheelchair, we are working with other international bodies in the area of providing used wheel chairs for others to use.

And you hardly see wheelchairs for children, that is why you see some of them on the floor. We are working on that, to get even locally made ones for them. And our services are free, we are just there as a shoulder to cry or lean on.”

Source: DailyTrust

Read more on CP here.

8 Discussions on
“”I was advised to inject my son with a lethal substance to end the shame” –  Kogi First Lady, Amina Oyiza Bello Speaks on Cerebral Palsy”

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.