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‘I’ve been living in a cart for over 10 years’

For the past 12 years, Hadiza Musa, who hails from Sabon Garin Yan Doka in Ungogo local government area of Kano State, has been living…

For the past 12 years, Hadiza Musa, who hails from Sabon Garin Yan Doka in Ungogo local government area of Kano State, has been living in that condition with no sign of succour. Despite her disability, she still cannot stay at home to rest. Instead, she roams the streets with the aid of some youths who move her around in a cart to beg for alms.  According to her, she is doing that to survive.

Formerly married to a Katsina-based man, Hadiza said she was brought back home from there after the death of her husband, by her daughter.  “As I had no relative to take care of me, my daughter decided to bring me back home to my only brother who is himself a very poor man”, she said.

Narrating her story, Hadiza said the abnormal growth that crippled her and confined her to the truck started like a small lump on her chest, the size of a grain of millet. But gradually it grew bigger, spreading to other parts of her body.

“Now, instead of my normal breast, I have two other lumps that bulge out of my chest, making it look like another set of breasts. Apart from that, the growth has affected my tummy, enlarging it to an abnormal size. The same thing with my thighs and legs,” she said.

She further explained that the size of the growth and its weight cannot allow her stand on her feet or walk. “It’s making life miserable for me.”

She explained that when the growth started, she visited a hospital in Katsina but as the problem persisted, she decided to go the traditional way of herbal medicine.  She said because of her economic status, when she went to the hospital, the attention she got was discouraging and disheartening.

Asked why she is on the streets begging in her condition, she said: “Begging has become obligatory for me. If I don’t beg, how do I survive? I’m living in a rented house and for the past six months I have not paid the rent. I have to eat and take care of my grandchildren who are living with me in the house. I’m blessed with only one daughter who is married. I cannot ask her to go and beg on my behalf and her husband is also a poor man; that is why I decided to come out myself.

“You can see how I’m suffering, sitting in a cart for about ten hours now. Begging in this condition is indeed a difficult task. It is necessity and since I’m still alive, I cannot starve myself to death. From what I get, I pay these boys who are pushing me around and also pay the taxi driver who is taking me to and fro every day.

She further revealed that her ailment has consumed everything she owns, including a house. Hadiza, who is in her 60s, complained that many politicians had pledged to assist her but up till this moment, none has fulfilled his. She stated that even the chairman of her local government had pledged to give her one hundred thousand naira so that she would stop begging, but six months after, she has received nothing from him. “I’m tired of their false promises. My hope is in God,” Hadiza said, sighing.

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