A mother’s love can be expressed in several ways, but when it results in unfortunate and sometimes tragic consequences for her child, people begin to question whether the emotion she expressed at that point in time was truly love.
Everyone can understand a mother’s worry when her baby doesn’t eat, but tragedy struck when a mother in Lagos on Wednesday caused the death of her only daughter while trying to force-feed her.
Chinwe, a housewife and bread vendor at Tedi Town in Ojo local government area of the state, was said to be feeding her year-old daughter, Ada, a meal of pap at home.
As is common with mothers in Africa whose children refuse to eat, Chinwe was said to have cupped a handful of pap over her daughter’s mouth with her right hand while she closed off her nostrils with the other.
The purpose is to make the baby gulp whatever liquid enters through her mouth, but it ended up killing her.
Unknown to Chinwe, Ada had been suffocating while she thought that the pap was being swallowed.
The mother raised alarm by the time she noticed that her daughter was immobile. Co-tenants at House Number 3 on Lawal Street, where Chinwe and her husband Ikenna live, rushed to the baby’s rescue and took her to a nearby hospital.
However, she died even before they reached the hospital and doctors also confirmed Ada dead.
Ikenna, who had left for Auto Parts at Trade Fair International Complex along Lagos-Badagry Expressway where he works, was called back home by his neighbours.
The couple appeared grief-stricken as sympathisers condoled with them.
On the passage of the tenement building, popularly called face-me-I-face-you, Chinwe was seen sprawled on the floor with a lone sympathiser, not uttering a word.
Since his hasty return from work, Ikenna also stared vacantly into space, hands on both cheeks and head bowed, appearing to be lost to the sympathisers milling about the house.
Neighbours and sympathisers also appeared confused as nobody was sure of how to react to the avoidable death.
Also left unsaid was the obvious carelessness or willful ignorance of Chinwe in trying to force-feed her baby.