Sixteen years old Fatima Suleiman, was waiting for her mother to pick her up when a jubilant driver, Aliyu Sunusi Umar, smashed one of her legs. Unfortunately, the leg had to be amputated to keep living.
Fatima had just finished her final examination on August 19, 2022, at the Khalifa International Model School located along Nana Asma’u Roadin Sokoto State. Everyone was celebrating their graduation from the school including her friends who were standing with her as they signed autographs on their shirts and exchanged contacts.
Thereafter, she received a call from her mother, informing her she was on her way to pick her up from the school.
Fatima who spoke to Daily Trust, further narrated that it was at that point that a boy came, stunt-driving from a neighbouring school while she was waiting outside the school for her mother.
“I was sitting with my friends when the guy came at high speed and splashed stagnated water on us. We reported him to our school authority and he was asked to leave the area,” she narrated. “But instead of heeding to their warning, he continued with his stunt driving and then lost control of the car. We tried to escape but unfortunately for me, I missed a step and fell down and the vehicle ran over one of my legs but my two friends were lucky to escape unhurt.”
“I was then brought to the Trauma Centre of Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital where after examination, the doctors concluded that my limb has to be amputated in order to save my life,” she added.
Narrating the gory incident, her father, Dr Suleiman Sabah said he was in his office at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Gusau, when his daughter called him with another number around 2.30pm.
His words: “When I picked the call, I heard her crying, saying ‘Daddy come back, I am dying’. I then asked her what happened and she told me somebody hit her with his car before the phone went off.
“I called the line again and the owner told me what happened to my daughter and that he and the school management were taking her to UDUTH for treatment. I then tried to reach out to her mother who is a staff of the hospital but to no avail. So, I called somebody in the hospital who informed her (the mother) about what happened and met them at the trauma centre
“When I later got her, she told me that one of Fatima’s legs was severely injured and the doctors were contemplating amputation. I said no, I don’t want my daughter’s leg amputated. I then asked her to connect me with the doctor on call which she did and I pleaded with him to do everything possible to salvage the leg but he told me the damage was beyond salvation.
“I asked him to connect me with the head of the department Dr Muhammad who also confirmed that they were preparing to wheel her to the theatre for amputation but I asked them to hold on
“I called a friend who works with the Orthopaedic Hospital Dala who requested for the picture of the leg and after observing the pictures, he too concluded that the damage was beyond salvation; that I should take heart and allow for the amputation. So, I gave them my approval.”
Notable individuals have consoled the victim’s family, saying thjey should should accept the incident in good faith.
A social media influencer and human rights activist, Hauwa Mustapha Babura while expressing concern over Fatima’s misfortune, pleaded mercy for Sunusi. She argued that he did not intentionally run over Fatima.
Babura beceeshed that the boy be given a chance to redeem himself, instead of prosecuting him for the crime which was a tragic mistake.
She also appealed to Fatima and her parents to accept the incident as the will of Allah and forgive the boy.
Similarly, the wife of the Governor of Sokoto State, Hajiya Mariya Tambuwal, also paid a visit to Fatima, promising her support in surviving the trauma. She counseled the family to be bold and to acknowledge the circumstance as an episode willed by Allah.
Fatima assured the governor’s wife, saying she had accepted the test and also prepared to move on after her medical treatment.
Two days after the incident, the culprit was arraigned before a magistrate court in Sokoto on August 22, 2022. The court later withdrawn the case and granted him bail.
The victim also spoke of her aspiration to study medicine, stressing that the amputated leg would not hinder her dreams.
“I have been nurturing this ambition for a long time because my father is a medical doctor. I wrote JAMB this year and scored 230,” she said.