BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO
Labake is a teenage girl who has been wandering around Apomu, headquarters of Isokan Local Government Area of Osun State ever since she was mysteriously struck with lunacy.
Her family has reportedly deserted her as she takes shelter in a lonely and abandoned building in the town.
Notwithstanding her mental challenge, Labake often sounds coherent whenever she engages other residents in conversation while begging for alms.
The Point gathered that she always visits event centres and other places in the town where ceremonies are held to get left over food and also beg for money for her to feed. Her situation has been a pathetic one.
However, Labake’s misery has been compounded by some unscrupulous men who took advantage of her insanity to rape and inflict her with all manner of sexual assaults at night.
People around started noticing in October 2020 that Labake had been put in the family way by some unknown men.
It was gathered that the First Lady of Osun State, Mrs. Kafayat Oyetola, had seen Labake at a ceremony she attended in Apomu carrying a heavy pregnancy before she directed that she be taken to Osogbo, capital of Osun State for rehabilitation.
After she was delivered of a baby, the teenager was returned to Apomu. She was left to herself again and she returned to her formal isolated and insane lifestyle.
Again, sometimes this year, some other men, one of whom Labake identified as “Operator”, raped and impregnated her.
Reacting to the ordeals of the pregnant teenager in a piece she titled: “Man’s Inhumanity to a Teenage Girl,” the wife of the traditional ruler of Apomu, Olori Janet Afolabi, narrated how Labake’s last pregnancy almost took her life due to complications and lack of antenatal care.
She expressed displeasure over the callous attitudes of men who took advantage of her mental condition and abused sexually.
According to her, “Labake is a mentally challenged teenager. Two years ago someone took advantage of her condition, impregnated and abandoned her. She was begging for food and money to survive.
“The first time l saw her was in October 2020 when she strayed into my event. She was being dragged out by security men when she caught the attention of Kafayat Oyetola, Osun State, First Lady, who was my guest.
“The First Lady took Labake to Osogbo, rehabilitated, and took care of her until she delivered. Then she brought Labake back to Apomu, headquarters of Isokan Local Government Area of Osun State.
“This year again, 2022, an unknown man whose name according to Labake is “Operator” impregnated her and disappeared.
“On Thursday, November 3, l was told Labake was at the Palace gate. I thought it was her usual visit for support. I asked my staff to take some things to her. He came back with a paper and said Labake was crying profusely.
“The paper was the scan result which showed among other things that she had been due since October 24 and the baby’s breech position in her womb posed great danger to her life. The baby’s head was up instead of down. The ideal position for birth is head down.
“I asked the security to let her in. When l saw her, l didn’t need to be told that she was in great pain. l called Julius Edet and Moses Bello (both members of the Medical team) l set up for my project “Initiative To Stop Teenage Pregnancy” to come to the palace .
“They took her to the Health Centre. After payment was made for registration and tests, the officials said there was no doctor to attend to her.
“She was taken to another Health Centre. The Matron spoke to me, saying that Labake’s condition was beyond them. She advised that Labake be taken to a private hospital or General Hospital Oluyoro in Ibadan because the only way she could give birth was through operation.
“For me, Ibadan was not an option at all because of distance and gridlock. Labake may not have survived the stress in the condition that she was.
“I decided to call Goke Odetunde, Chairman of our local government. He responded immediately. I told him the situation on the ground. He said Labake should be taken to a private hospital in a neighbouring community.
“He also paid the bill. To the glory of Almighty God, the operation was successful. She delivered a baby boy. Mother and child are alive,” she narrated.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Afolabi has promised to rehabilitate the teenage girl, provide her with shelter and also ensure that she acquired a skill.
“The journey to save Labake has not ended. I would like to rehabilitate and provide a secure shelter for her. She can then acquire a skill or start a trade.
“I want to thank the Chairman for the rapid response and kind gesture. I also thank Julius and Moses for devoting their time and attention to be with Labake throughout her agonising hours.”
Warning men to desist from abusing girls and women, the monarch’s wife said, “I want to appeal to the men who keep taking advantage of Labake’s mental condition to sexually harass, abuse, impregnate her, to desist. If she were your sister or daughter, I do not think you would be happy if someone did that to her.
“Most likely, you would describe such an action as man’s inhumanity to a vulnerable teenage girl.”