Every child deserves the ultimate protection by their parents against a very cold and cruel world they know nothing about but who will protect children if the actual threat is coming from the parents. Tobiloba Olawusi who would have turned 1 year old by now, had been on life support since April this year, but unfortunately died on Wednesday at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in America, meanwhile Tobi’s father, Olalekan Olawusi had apparently skipped bail and the police suspects he may be in Nigeria at this very moment.
How can any one imagine that an 8 month old baby had spent more than half of his life in intensive unit as a result of trauma suffered in the hands of his parents. Tobi arrived at Hasbro by ambulance on April 3, at the time three months old and clinically dead. Doctors who examined him found that he had suffered broken arms, 12 fractured ribs, a broken right femur and was bleeding beneath a fractured skull. They also found a human bite mark on his left thigh and the doctors made every efforts to resuscitate him but all effort prove abortive to bring him back to life. The police charged his father Mr Olalekan Olawusi and his mother Arinola Akinjagunla with child abuse and neglect. The grandparents who where invited to the hospital after the arrest had no other choice than to make ink prints of his tiny feet and said their goodbyes after doctors concluded his situation appeared hopeless.
According to hospital and police record Arinola Akinjagunla had history of mental illness. She was hospitalised twice during the pregnancy for suicidal thoughts and Doctors diagnosed her for the symptoms of schizophrenia and mood disorders, based on recommendation the child welfare professionals warned the Department of Children, Youth & Families not to allow her to take the baby home because the agency had already taken away her other son at his birth just 14 months earlier when she became physically combative in the hospital while holding him.
Arinola was responding to treatment and after months of observations her supervisor approved a safety plan that would allow her to go home with her newborn as long as she was never alone with him. The plan banned Arinola from ever being alone with her newborn son. The husband Olalekan was understood to be that person that will supervise her and the baby.
As at this report police are still investigating who is responsible for the abuse of the child that eventually led to his death, all fingers seems to be pointing at Olalekan although both had been charged. Arinola is out on bail pending investigation but Olalekan Olawusi who had posted $40,000 surety bail weeks after his arrest as a condition of his release, was supposed to surrender his passport to the court but never showed up. The police have told the court they believe Olalekan is in Nigeria and they are seeking his extradition after a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Looking at the case of increased government interference in families on the issue of child abuse which has been causing a lot of trauma for tens of thousands of african families in America and the United kingdom thereby leading to several consequences including unnecessary investigation and children taking away from their parents. The question is can we really blame the government for taking extreme measures to prevent situations and tragedies like the case of Tobiloba or do you think issues like this are used as an excuse to interfere or take charge of how many african families raise their kids without the consideration for differences in culture based on socio-economic backgrounds. Please leave a comment below.