The Adagbada Arola area of Apete, Ibadan, Oyo State, broke out in confusion on Wednesday when the hair and flesh covering the head of a five-year-old girl, Moridiyat Rauf, was bitten off by a dog when she went into the house to greet the owner, an elderly female.

The girl, as the usual practice, had gone to the dog owner’s house to greet and play with her, with the belief that the animal had been secured in its cage.

However, unknown to the woman, whose name was given as Mrs Esther (surname withheld), the dog had somehow loosened the padlock used to hold the cage, and as the girl came in, it pounced on her.

The dog owner reportedly struggled to extricate the girl from the dog but was unsuccessful, making her shield the badly injured Moridiya with her body.

Angry at the move, the dog descended on its owner, bit off her tongue and tore off a big chunk of flesh off of her face.

Nigerian Tribune learnt that neighbours and sympathisers started looking for items to dislodge the dog, as they were afraid to immediately move in to avoid the dog turning on them.

Eventually, they succeeded in subduing the dog and rescued the girl.

The girl’s brother, who spoke on the incident, disclosed that the girl’s mother left for the market at about 7:30 am.

He said that he was in the sitting room with Moridiya’s elder brother watching video on the phone while she and another sibling were playing with a teddy bear.

Believing that she was still inside, he said that he went to another part of the house and later rushed to the dog owner’s house on hearing of the commotion.

“I heard the piercing cry of my sister and went to trace where she was. As I stood at the gate of the woman’s house, I was shocked by what I saw. The mummy shielded my sister with her body.

“I started shouting ‘Dog! Dog!’ I shook the gate. I picked stones and climbed the fence, but the dog held on to my sister and its owner.

“Other people started coming to find a way of rescuing them. We were looking for a weapon that would subdue it. Eventually, elders got in, killed the dog and quickly rushed my sister to the hospital,” he narrated to the Nigerian Tribune.

It was gathered that Moridiya was first rushed to the Health Centre at Ajibode area, from where she was promptly referred to the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan for emergency medical attention.

The dog owner was also taken to the same hospital for medical attention.

Nigerian Tribune further learnt that irate mob had decided to set ablaze the dog owner’s house, but was prevailed upon by neighbours who spoke well of her and her love for children in the environs.

The mob, however, broke the glass windows of the house in anger.

When contacted, the hospital’s Head of Department, Public Relations Unit, Mrs Funmi Adetuyibi, confirmed that the girl and the dog owner were brought to the Emergency Unit in the morning.

The spokesperson said that they were first stabilised by the doctors on duty before the plastic surgery unit was called to take over.

She stated further that the girl was in a stable condition and would be booked for surgery after further observation.

A medical doctor also told the Nigerian Tribune that what the girl has is an avulsion injury to the scalp and also the ear, and is already being managed by plastic surgeons.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer of the Oyo State Police Command, SP Adewale Osifeso, said that hoodlums capitalised on the unfortunate incident and vandalised the home of the dog owner.

He, however, said that one of the hoodlums was arrested by the Apete Division and transferred to State Criminal Investigation Department for interrogation.

The Divisional Police Officer in charge of Apete police station, the Divisional Crime Officer and other police officers were said to have visited the scene of the incident and also followed up injured persons to the hospital.

Nigerian Tribune


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