Twenty eight- year-old Gure Ruth Chabani graduated from Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja in 2019.
She was mobilized for the National Youth Service Corp in 2021 with her name appearing 11th on her school’s list when a sudden mental illness set in to disrupt her ambitions.
Since then her life has changed. Her family has become frustrated with her condition after trying everything to help her without success.
Ruth was said to be carrying a 7 months pregnancy when THE WHISTLER saw her.
The tall, black beauty can be seen at the SDP junction in Gwagwalada, Abuja, roaming about the Tipper Garage with protruding belly, begging for alms. And sometimes when her condition worsens, she shouts on top of her voice, uttering incoherent words.
THE WHISTLER traced her family house behind the garage, where her father, William Chabani, who retired about 13 years ago from the Nigerian Police, expressed his pains over his daughter’s health condition.
He said: “I have been battling with her health since 2021. Have taken her to Nasarawa, Niger, so many places for treatment, as I’m talking now she is 7 months pregnant. We don’t know who is responsible for the pregnancy. She herself doesn’t know.
“She will go out for 3 weeks, we will not know where she is. She doesn’t come home with male friends to enable us to hold them responsible for the pregnancy. Sometimes she will come home around 3 o’clock at night and knock. She moves about in the rain, sun, going up and down, doesn’t listen to me, doesn’t listen to anybody, quarrelling everyday.
“There’s nothing I can do more than I’ve done. If God says she will be what she will be, she will be, because finally if she doesn’t recover, she will die.”
The retired police officer said he does not know how else to feel about the whole situation. He said he’s emotionally and financially drained and has left everything to the will of God.
“I take it as an act of God. There’s nothing I can do. I’ve gone round and finally placed her in the hands of God and see what He does. There’s nothing I can do more than what God can do.
“I have been spending on the treatment. Anywhere we go they will say bring so and so. I’ve sold all my things except this house that is left. I have nothing left on earth. I retired 13 years ago. My wife has been late for 20 years. I was left to train my 6 children alone. I had 8 children, only 6 are left alive,” he sadly told THE WHISTLER.
According to the ex police officer, he single-handedly trained his 6 children to higher institutions, adding that Ruth is the 4th graduate among his children.
He said 3 of them had already graduated; one with a degree in mathematics, another in accounting, while the third studied economics (now working in Ibadan at Federal College of Education as non teaching staff).
The last born of the family will graduate this year from the Federal Polytechnic Idda, Studying Quantity Survey.
Ruth’s elder brother, Monday Chabani, who is one of the applicants in the family, narrated to THE WHISTLER how his sister found herself in her present predicament.
He said: “The lady in question is my sister. She has a HND in public Admin. She graduated in December 2019 hoping to go for NYSC in 2020 but Covid 19 delayed the process, and by 2021 her result was ready, her school had already mobilised her, so it was within a month for her to apply for the NYSC online on the NYSC portal and go for service in September 2021 when this incident came up. If you go on the NYSC portal you will see her name there, ready to serve. She is number 11 on the mobilisation list of her set.
“So the whole thing started the first week of September 2021, I think it was 1st September 2021 if I’m not mistaken.
“That day she woke me up in the morning at 6am saying she was going to her school in Lokoja, Kogi State Polytechnic to collect her result and she left, while I went out around 10-11am to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport for an appointment.
“I was there when I started receiving calls to come back home. On getting home I met people gathered, she was saying that she was having feelings that people were responsible for what is happening to her right now. She was mentioning names and making accusations.”
According to her elder brother, Ruth kept mentioning particular people saying they were always talking about her and so they had something to do with her illness.
Monday said that was the beginning of her journey into mental illness.
He said: “The next day, she went back to school because the previous day she was already on her way before she came back. So when she went back the second day, she spent two days and got back home. Since then we’ve not rested. At night she will be shouting, shaking her head. I think it’s the shaking of the head that affected her more.”
According to Monday, out of desperation, they invited prayer warriors from the Catholic Church they attend to come for a vigil that night to assist them in praying for his sister’s recovery.
He said: “From the prayers, some of them referred us to a professor of medicine who happened to be the Dean Faculty of Medicine, University of Abuja, Dr. Raymond.
“He was treating her with drugs for months. We’ve been going to his house to take drugs every evening and would sometimes give us drugs that last for a week. It went on and on for the entire period of that year and when she didn’t improve, we went from church to church before we finally went into treating her with herbs.
“This case is not ordinary. This was a lady who went to primary, secondary school and high institutions and finished without any of such a case. No accidents, no drug addiction. It was after school that this thing started.
“It’s clear it’s a spiritual attack. The Prof was only administering drugs related to medicals, because the woman who referred us there had our church member who experienced something similar and he treated her and she became okay. So that was why they referred us there. We were paying money and no improvement, that was why we left him and began the herbal treatment.”
Monday said his sister has burnt all her properties and pictures except her credentials.
He described his sister as the neatest person in their house, explaining that she could change her dress thrice a day even in her present condition.
“She also knows how to cook more than any of us. This morning she just prepared her food and ate before going out, you can see the plate where she ate on the bench there.
“It’s saddening to see my own sister roaming the street this way. Just yesterday I entered the store room to sanitise it. There I found some of her shoes looking new, which she tore and dumped. The sight of them gripped my heart and brought tears to my eyes.
“People have deserted us, we have become a laughing stock. The pain is so unbearable,” Monday said, holding back tears.