Ali Ahmadu, the Chibok boy injured by Boko Haram insurgents during one of their invasions in his Borno community has returned to Nigeria after undergoing intensive surgery in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The six-year-old was run over by Boko Haram terrorists with a motorcycle when they invaded Chibok village in 2013.
Young Ali, who sustained spinal cord injury from the attack, was flown to Dubai by an NGO, Global Initiative for Peace, Love and Care ((GIPLC) in conjunction with Telveras Group. Ali’s treatment was sponsored by Dickens Sanomi Foundation, owners of Teveras Group of companies.
After a successful spinal surgery which lasted for almost six hours, about one week in the intensive care unit (ICU), and a month in recovery, the Boko Haram victim returned to the country through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on Monday, Dec. 4th, onboard an Ethiopian Airways flight.
He had arrived with his aunt, Hannatu Madu; the Coordinator of Global Initiative for Peace, Love and Care, Nuhu Kwajafa; and representatives of Dickens Sanomi Foundation, which footed his bill.
The Chibok boy, who had been on a wheelchair in the past four years, can now walk to the consternation of the huge crowd, which welcomed him at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
Dressed in a grey blazer, white shirt and blue jeans, young Ali was all smiles as he disembarked from the plane and moved about freely amid hugging and handshake with many people.
In a smattering English laced with Hausa, he simply said: “I am fine.” When asked in Hausa about his experience in Dubai, he said “lafiya lao” (Fine, thank you).
The young lad stunned the crowd when he said his main aspiration was to be a policeman in order “to save people from harm”.
Speaking to reporters, Kwajafah narrated how four years ago Ali fell victim to one of Boko Haram’s murderous invasions that resulted in the death of his parents.
“That fateful night, he sustained major injuries and suffered excruciating pain all over his body, brought upon him by the senseless marauders. They crushed everything and everyone in their path, severely damaging his vertebra column in the process but the hand of God preserved Ali, so we may give glory to His name.
“After that incident, the little boy did not have access to any form of orthodox medication. He was at the mercy of traditionalists, in highly unpredictable and perilous conditions.
“Obviously, during this period, access to education, nutrition, psychosocial tuning, water, sanitation or hygiene, were very limited, if not non-existent.
“He was immobile and fast deteriorating, physically and mentally, from that period till the first quarter of this year, when GIPLC made contact with him.
“The organisation facilitated the relevant examinations and digital/lab tests for his assessment and proper medical attention. The results revealed that he couldn’t access the quality care required to literally realign him towards a better quality of life, hence the decision to make the prerequisite travel arrangements to travel abroad.”
Kwajafah added that after Ali was duly assessed and the various options were considered from all over the world, his NGO resolved to take him to the UAE.
“After almost six hours of an extremely delicate surgery, including about a week in ICU and a month in recovery, Ali took his first steps into a brighter future.
“Ali has been in the UAE, being monitored, as he recuperated and to God’s glory, Ali who left this airport on a wheelchair a couple of months ago, is back before you today on his two feet, looking handsome and ready to start his new life,” he said.
Kwajafah stated that GIPLC remained committed to Ali’s post-surgery and well being and had received confirmation from the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Dickens Sanomi Foundation who is also the chairman of Taleveras Group, Mr. Igho Sanomi, to support his reintegration into the society and will provide him with a scholarship from primary school up to the university level as he settles in Abuja.
Similarly, Mr. Goodluck Hayi, a board member of the Dickens Sanomi Foundation, stated that the young boy’s arrival and survival was a thing of joy to the foundation.
According to him, “About three months ago, we all witnessed how, at the same airport, Ali Ahmadu was being taken away on a wheelchair, today to the glory of God we are here to receive Ali Ahmadu, walking handsomely into our arms.
“What started as a painful journey for little Ali after the Boko Haram attack in Chibok four years ago that confined him to a wheelchair, has transformed into a journey of hope, love and care.”
Hayi further noted that the Dickson Sanomi Foundation is premised on the principle of love and care, one that was practised and preached by the late Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Mr. Dickens Sanomi, the father of the Taleveras boss.
“Today we demonstrate these principles by being our neighbours’ keepers and teaching love by showing it,” he said.
The foundation, he noted, will be working with Ali’s family through GIPLC and will be supporting Ali’s post-surgery life, “so we will help him settle into Abuja to grow as a child showered with love and care”.
“I am authorized to announce that an education scholarship will be provided for Ali until he gets to the university by the Taleveras Foundation.
“Thank you to all Nigerians and to everyone who has supported this journey,” Hayi said.