The Oyo State Police Command came to the aid of a 75-year-old granny and her seven grandchildren found roaming the streets of Ibadan on Friday.
The old woman was intercepted by a patrol vehicle of the police command after members of the public raised the alarm that she could be involved in child trafficking or kidnapping.
The children’s ages range between three and seven; they are a set of triplet and two sets of twins.
Their father, who died last year, was the woman’s son while their physically challenged mother works as dish washer at a local canteen in the city.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Leye Oyebade, told a Punch correspondent that after investigations, it was discovered that the woman was looking for how to feed the seven children.
He said, “We were able to find the mother and realise the connection with the old woman. She is the grandmother of the children and at the time the police intercepted her, she was in a process of going to a media house with a view to soliciting for funds for the upkeep of the children.
“This is a sad situation but the state police command, as part of its responsibility to the people, has provided some food stuffs and other items to help save the family. It is a contribution we have to make.”
Two bags of rice, a bag of beans, several loaves of bread and other items were donated to the family.
The grandmother, Tutu Awoniyi, said she lived in a rented apartment in Gbagi area of Ibadan and that her last son, Olusola, was the father of the children.
She said, “I went to solicit for assistance from someone in Basorun area but I got nothing. I had no money for transport fare so I decided to trek with the seven children back home. That was when the police approached me, thinking that I stole the children.
“My son, who is their father, is dead and their mother is struggling. I don’t want hunger to take these children away from me.”
The mother of the children, Kafayat, 30, said her husband died last year and that she and the children lived with the grandmother.
She said, “I live in Alabebe in Ibadan where I also work at a local restaurant until I fell ill and lose the job. I could not go to see my children for two months and I had no money to go to hospital. I only took herbs. Mama is my in-law.”