This is the story of Mrs. Bolaji Isaac, an eighty-five-year-old grandmother who has cried out that she has nothing to live for and preferred to die because all her five children rejected her and all attempts to see them had been futile.
The bond between a mother and her children is usually such that is better experienced than explained. It is surprising then that after a mother has given her all to give her children a good life, she is abandoned in her old age when she needs them most.
According to the Ikare, Ondo State indigene, she will be going to the grave in the company of sorrow and bitterness anytime she finally passes on to the great beyond.
The aged Bolaji Isaac also said that her second son, identified as Sola, chased her out of an apartment rented for her by a Pentecostal church in Lagos, Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries, after which he took over the house.
Speaking to Punch Metro, the octogenarian said she was desperately in need of another accommodation, appealing to Nigerians to prevail on her children to meet with her before her death.
“I had 10 children. While five of them died, five survived. My husband died about 20 years ago and I started selling paper bags to hospitals and clinics. When I didn’t have money to continue the work, I stopped.
“I was formerly living in the Alagbado area of Lagos State, but my son, Sola, chased me out. He came from Ondo State to live with me.
“His wife called me that I should send him back, but I ignored her. Later, I agreed when the pressure became too much. When I asked him to return, he refused and started fighting me.”
She further revealed that each time she called her fourth child, Samuel, a lawyer, he always gave excuses of being in court, promising to call back, but never doing so. Bolaji explained that Samuel prevented her from knowing where he lives, adding that her other children also gave excuses instead of taking care of to her.
Mrs. Bolaji Isaac went on to lament that her siblings had equally forsaken her. “When I had money, my mother advised me to take care of them that they would help my children in the future. I sponsored their education, but now, they don’t care about me. I don’t know what I did to deserve the treatment. I want to die. This suffering is unbearable,” she added, as she burst into tears.
Continuing with the sorry story of her life, Bolaji said she later moved to the Ladipo area of Oshodi where an old friend, Mrs. Sadatu Ahmed, had been sheltering her for the past eight months. Her only hope of survival, she said, is the weekly N2,000 stipend she received from the MFM every Monday.
Her friend, Sadatu Ahmed, who claimed to have known her for 25 years, said Bolaji Isaac used to visit her when they were much younger and as a result of old time, she could not send her away when she came to her house.
“She was sleeping in the verandah of our compound, exposing herself to cold and mosquito bites. When I couldn’t bear it, I begged my son to allow us to accommodate her and he agreed.
“She cannot go to toilet on her own and she does not sleep well. I bathe her and keep vigils over her. She cries every day. She complains of pains in her legs, stomachs and other body parts. She is really suffering.
“Anytime I call any of her children, they do not pick the call. When they do, they are quick in cutting off the call. One said he was a family man and if he had to choose between his mother and wife, he would choose his wife.
“I am being forced to send her out of my house. My neighbours said if she died, I would be in trouble. I don’t want to go to jail for helping someone in need,” she added.
Contrary to the claims by mama Bolaji Isaac, Samuel who was contacted on the telephone described his mother as a troublesome woman, adding that he kept her away from his family to avoid having issues with his marriage.
“She was formerly living with my elder brother, Tope. She was always quarreling with his wife to the extent that they would engage in fisticuffs. And it was regular. I witnessed the fights while I was in the university and that was why I decided never to allow any family member live with me.
“She cannot live with any of her sons without having issues with their wives, so we are trying to make enquiries about old people’s home for her because that is the next step. Just last week, we all contributed N25,000 to give her; so I wonder where the issue of neglect is coming from.
“My wife and I are too busy and if she stays with us, she will still complain of neglect. It is not important that she knows where I stay; the most important thing is that she is taken care of.”
Samuel, who confirmed that Sola stayed with the mother at a time, said he could not say if he sent her out. He said although he didn’t know who she stayed with in Lagos, he sometimes sent her money through his wife.