By Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
Mr. Joseph Michael, father of an eight-month-old baby whose penis was “erroneously” severed by a herbalist in Ondewari, Southern Ijaw, Bayelsa State, has accused the local circumcision expert of deliberately cutting off his son’s manhood.
The distressed father of the baby, who had earlier said he was not informed before the minor surgical operation was carried out on his baby, noted that his son was currently in severe pains.
While seeking financial help to carry out a comprehensive treatment on his son, Michael, a 39-year-old unemployed father of six children, said that the incident had thrown him into financial distress.
He added that he could not afford the cost of medical services at the Federal Medical Centre in Yenagoa, where the little boy is currently receiving medical attention.
Michael, an ex-militant under the Presidential Amnesty scheme said Mr. Ziworitin Keke, 59 on February 5, allegedly cut off half of the genitals of the eight-month-old during circumcision.
He appealed to public spirited individuals, Bayelsa government and members of the public to come to the aid of the baby, arguing that the action was deliberate.
“The idea that the circumcision was a mistake is untrue, the man did it deliberately because he circumcised other children, why will it be my son’s own that will go wrong?
“After cutting off my boy’s penis, the man who is married to my son’s grandmother told my wife to leave the child with him for at least three weeks so that he could treat him very well.
“But my wife refused because the boy was bleeding and she rushed him to the health centre at Korokorosei, a neighbouring community to us.”, he said.
He explained that they were referred to the Federal Medical Centre Yenagoa for specialised medical care by healthcare workers at the community centre.
Meanwhile the International Federation of Women lawyers had written a petition to the Bayelsa Police Commissioner.
When contacted on the development, Police Spokesman, DSP Asinim Butswat said the Command had received reports on the incident and said that investigations had commenced.
“We are working with the family and the case but right now, they are currently bugged down with medical attention for the baby in hospital”, he said.
A relative of the suspect, Mr. Morris Alagoa, told journalists in Yenagoa that his cousin could not have wittingly committed the act, adding that that the man had been in the profession for years.
“He (Ziwotimin) was only trying to help. It is really sad and unfortunate that his free services to over 700 children from neighbouring communities have been brought into this ugly scenario”, Alagoa said.
He refuted claims that the incident was a regular one, noting that the man in question was like a father to the little boy.
“The incident is like that of a driver with 40 years’ experience having an accident”, he said.
Keke was said to be circumcising the little boy when he inadvertently chopped off part of his penis.