New Telegraph

December 8, 2023

Widow whose daughter went partially blind cries out for justice

Mrs. Ifeoma Cosmos, a widow with four children, has over the years envisaged a good future for her children, so she spared no effort in guiding them on that path. However, she is now at a crossroads, as the hope she may have reposed in one of the children, Miss Oluebube Precious Cosmos, appeared dashed.

A pupil of Methodist High School, Aba, Abia State, she returned from school with her eyes badly damaged, leaving her almost blind. Tears filled her eyes as she narrated the incident leading to the damage of her teenage daughter’s eyes, a situation she attributed to negligence on the part of the management of the school.

Little Precious in pains, narrated how her ordeal started over three years ago, as she noted that; “My problem started during my second term. I was enrolled in the school in September 2019 and by the second term in 2020, I fell from the bunk bed I was sleeping on, hitting my head on the floor and bled profusely that night from the side of my eyes.

“I told the management about what happened to me, they gave me Paracetamol and olive oil. I begged them to call my mother to inform her of what happened to me but they didn’t call her. I begged them to take me home but they refused despite my condition was getting worst “It took a month when it was getting severe before my mother knew what happened.

Before my mother knew what happened to me, I started having serious scratches and pains in my eyes. My mother came and took me home.” Since then she has battled to regain her sight to no avail, lamenting her present state, she said that; “I can’t see properly now. My mother has suffered so much and I’m now seen by everybody as a blind girl. But I was never born partially blind nor did I remember having any eye problem until after that incident. “I stopped my education in JSS-1 second term and now all my classmates have all moved to SS-1 and I’ve missed three academic sessions and I’m still a JSS- 1 student at 14 years.

All I hear now is my mother’s cries and I can’t help but cry as well because I know my condition is affecting her.” Picking up the narration, the mother who had to borrow money to send her only daughter to school said that; “Precious is my only girl-child and I vowed to give her the best of education, believing that when she gets the best, I’ll not suffer at old age. A term school fee there then was N60, 000 and I paid completely without owing them. “I informed them properly not to place her on the top of the bunk because I know my daughter well, but they failed to adhere to that simple plea.

By the end of the first term, everything was okay until during the second term when I got a report from someone, a teacher there that my daughter’s eyes is becoming reddish. “I didn’t understand what she meant, because since I gave birth to her, she never had any eye problem. I also got a report that my daughter said that her eyes are paining her.

Sometime later, I got information that the principal asked me to come to take my daughter home.’’ Seeing the condition of the daughter and the refusal of the school’s management to show concern or take any responsibility, she attempted to report the matter to the police but was prevailed on by one of her sons. “I wanted to report to the police then, but my son said I shouldn’t not knowing that this matter will lead my daughter to go partially blind. I took my daughter home, we started going from one hospital to the other. She was complaining of headaches, eye pains and many other illnesses. It was barely a few weeks that she told me she can’t see again.

“I nearly lost my life in pain. Meanwhile, I kept trying to call the school’s attention but the school ignored me. When all of these failed, she disclosed that she had to report the incident to her brothers -in-lawwho tried to wade into the matter without any success. “I informed my husband’s brothers and they decided we’ll report to the Methodist Church that owns the school.

We got there, I cried to the Archdeacon and all the church leaders to treat my daughter because I’ve spent almost N4 million from the money I got from friends, helpers, my business and well-wishers even my church members. “After we visited the Methodist Church here, they asked us to tell the principal to fix a date that we all will come, sit and iron issues out. But the principal asked the church to forget about the matter that it was not their case to handle adding that if I’m serious I should come to the school again. “This infuriated my husband’s brothers who now suggested we go to human rights. There’s nothing in my house again.

I’ve lost all I had because of my daughter. I’m almost a dead person.” Helpless and frustrated, as the dream of her daughter becoming a nurse, as the husband had wished before his dead, evaporating before her. She sent Save Our Soul (SOS) message to the Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, Most Reverend Oliver Abba, to come to the rescue of her daughter. She equally pleaded with the Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu and the First Lady of the State, Deaconess Nkechi Ikpeazu, to come to her aide. “I want to use this opportunity to beg the Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, Most Reverend Oliver Abba to use his good offices as an ordained man of God to see how my daughter can be helped to regain her sight,’’ she pleaded even as she stated further that; “My daughter had been at home since 2020.

She can’t read anything anymore. She is supposed to be in SS1 now but the way she was treated has made her stunted in her education while her mates are moving forward. I’ve gone everywhere necessary, please Prelate, help me. “My only daughter who I have hope for is almost blind in both eyes. Please help me. Don’t allow me to die in pain. I also plead with the Federal Ministry of Education to come to my aid.

I’m almost going down as a mother.’’ When Saturday Telegraph contacted the Principal of Methodist High School, Reverend Emmanuel Akammadu, he completely denied the allegations, saying that there was no such incident within the school. Akammadu said that there was no time Miss Cosmos reported any incident of her falling from the top of any bunk, adding that the school never assigned top bunk to her because they have so many unoccupied ground level beds. He further disclosed that on several occasions he questioned Miss Cosmos when they brought complaints to him around August 2020 if there was any such incident but she never narrated any of such story.

Rather, he said the mother was busy talking about compensation which is not in his power. Speaking of the efforts made by him when the matter was brought to his attention, he said that; “I personally referred them to our Bishop who is a professional eye doctor, they went there, he demanded a test and they never went back. We’re still open to listen if they want because we care.”

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