All eyes were fixed on him. His face was wreathed in smiles as he flashed the victory sign, walking briskly. The excitement was electrifying.
Boko Haram kid victim Ali Ahmadu is walking again.
The boy, who was wheeled onto the plane three months ago on his way to Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, for the life-changing surgery, disembarked from an Ethiopian Airline flight at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja yesterday without assistance.
His treatment cost $63,000.
Ali, who was dressed in a grey blazer, a white shirt and a pair of blue jeans thrilled the crowd by walking briskly.
It was hectic controlling those who trooped out to catch a glimpse of the boy. He simply told reporters who asked him how he was feeling: “I am fine.”
When asked in Hausa about his experience in Dubai, Ali said lafiya lao (fine, thank you).
He arrived in Abuja with his aunt Hannatu Madu, the Coordinator of Global Initiative for Peace, Love and Care (GIPLC), Nuhu Kwajafa and representatives of Dickens Sanomi Foundation, sponsors of the medical trip.
Reporters asked him what he wanted to be in future, he replied in Hausa: “I want to be a policeman. I want to save people from harm.”
The Taleveras Foundation announced a scholarship up to the university level for Ali.
Chairman of Dickens Sanomi Foundation, who doubles as Chairman of Taleveras Group, Mr. Igho Sanomi, said: “About three months ago, we all witnessed at the same airport Ali Ahmadu been taken away on a wheel chair. Today, to the glory of God, we are here to receive Ali Ahmadu, walking handsomely into our arms.
“What started as a painful journey for little Ali after his Boko Haram attack in Chibok, four years ago that confined him to a wheel chair, has transformed into a journey of hope, love and care.
“Dickens Sanomi Foundation is backed by the principle of love and care, one that was practised and preached by the late Assistant Inspector-General of Police Mr. Dickens Sanomi. Today, we demonstrate these principles by being our neighbours’ keepers and teaching love by showing it.
“Dickens Sanomi Foundation will be working with Ali’s family through GIPLC and will be supporting Ali’s post-surgery life as we help him settle into Abuja, to grow as a child with love and care.
“I am authorised to announce that an educational scholarship will be provided for Ali, until he gets to university by the Taleveras Foundation. May God bless you all”
Coordinator of Global Initiative for Peace, Love and Care (GIPLC) Mr. Nuhu Kwajafa said: “About four years ago, in a small village at Chibok Local Government Area of Borno State, a toddler named Ali Ahmadu Chibok fell victim to one of Boko Haram’s murderous invasions.
“That fateful night, he suffered excruciating pains all over his body, brought upon him by the senseless marauders. They crushed everything/everyone in their path, severely damaging his still forming vertebral column in the process, but the hand of God preserved Ali. So we may give glory to His name.
“Since that incident, the little boy never accessed any form of orthodox medication. He was at the mercy of traditionalist, in highly unpredictable and perilous times. Obviously, during this period, access to education, nutrition, psychosocial tuning, water, sanitation or hygiene, was very limited, if not non-existent.
“He was immobile and fast deteriorating, physically and mentally, from that period till the 1st quarter of this year, 2017, when GIPLC (Global Initiative for Peace, Love and Care) made contact with him. The organisation facilitated the relevant examinations and digital/lab tests, for assessment and proper medical attention.
“The results revealed that he couldn’t access the quality care required, to literally realign him towards a better quality of life, hence the decision to make prerequisite travel arrangements, to travel abroad.
“After duly assessing the various options open to us, from all over the world, we resolved to take him to the UAE. He was treated in Zulekha Hospital at Sharjah in Dubai. The medical bill was initially $48,000 but after the surgery, there were some complications and there was an additional $15,000 bill.
“We left Nigeria on the 10th of September and we arrived Dubai on the 11th. He was wheeled into the hospital on the 12th and after proper medical examination, they agreed that Ali needed to go for surgery as soon as possible.
After almost six hours of extremely delicate surgery, about a week in ICU and a month in recovery, Ali took his first steps into a brighter future.
“After the surgery, the doctor predicted that Ali would walk after six or seven weeks, but by the grace of God, he was on his feet after seven days. The healing process was so fast and it was difficult to believe.
“Next week is Ali’s birthday; Ali has never celebrated his birthday because of his predicament. He had been lying down for three years but on the 10th of December, he would be celebrating his birthday with over 2000.
“We run a charity organisation for the past 11 years where we reach out to kids who can’t pay medical bills and we have so far been able to raise over $4 million for children.