INCREDIBLE:This armless girl eats, bathes, makes phone calls with her legs

THE SUN Newspaper-David Molomo

One would have thought she would look dejected and without a hope. But Mariam Umar, born without two arms, said there is always a purpose for whatever condition one finds him or herself. The Gombe State-born teenager remains unperturbed and has continued to thank her Creator despite being physically incapacitated.

Nature has, however, compensated her. She is able to manipulate her left leg to eat, drink water and do some other things. Cheerful and jovial Mariam told Daily Sun that her source of strength and joy is her Creator who has deposited manipulative skills in her two legs. She said God has a reason for making her armless as she did not create herself, neither her armlessness caused by accident:

“What is unimaginable with man, is practicable with God. Whatever situation in life, there is always a way out.” Mariam can use her legs to bath, wash, dial numbers on her mobile phone and receive calls.
She believes there is ability in disability and there is a purpose people like her are created the way they are. That the Almighty should be glorified in all situations. That an apparently bad situation should not dampen one’s spirit or for her to accuse nature for being unfair to her.

Mariam, who sounds philosophical said it is a privilege being alive: “For being alive to breath fresh air and see beautiful things of creation everyday is a thing of joy. It is a wonderful privilege and one should thank God for such privilege. My situation has made me to be able to manipulate my legs, to do a lot of unimaginable things. Necessity has warranted that. I was born armless and providence has made me to perfect the use of my legs to do a lot of things to the surprise of those around me.”

She said begging irritates her but that does not mean that those incapacitated should not be helped whenever they make such request: “Begging is not part of me. I personally do not like begging but that is not to say that I should condemn those of my situation that has made them to beg. God has given me intellectual propensity, what I only need is a push from the government, spirited Nigerians that can identify with our plights. There is always ability in our disability.

Who would have thought, I could use my legs to do what I am doing?
“I use my legs to bathe myself, dial numbers on my mobile phone and use it to receive calls. God has been fair to me. How many abled-bodied can do what I am doing with my legs? Whatever situation you find yourself in life, providence has a way of enlivening your situation. Despite my situation, my friends never discriminated against me. They have seen that I have exhibited that there is always ability in disability.”
Mariam made a case for the disabled and those incapacitated by nature or accidents to be assisted by government or opulent persons in the society. She wanted the privileged in the society should come to the aid of the disabled.

She said is optimistic of getting a handsome man who has the fear of God to marry someday. She, however, said that she could not contemplate marriage because she is still young but believes when the time comes someone will manifest himself to her to make marriage proposals. She added that the issue of marriage is in the hand of God and shall send a humble and respectable person to come and ask her hand in marriage.
Mariam attends a Quranic school, in Yola, Adamawa State and she is profficient in Arabic language. She yearns for formal education and desires that highly-spirited persons can assist her to enroll her in school so as to acquire formal education.

Mallam Yusuf Usman Nadabo, is the Head of News, Adamawa Television Corporation ATV, Yola. He has been a family friend to the Umars. Mariam came to the limelight during the military administration of Navy Captain Kalu Igbuama. His wife, Grace, expressed empathy to the situation of the armless four-year-old baby then. It was when Nadabo was anchoring a programme on the handicapped in the society. The programme attracted Igbuama who put machinery in motion to assist Grace. But the assistance never came as Igbuama was redeployed.

Nadabo told Daily Sun: “I have being anchoring the programme, Weekend File. My intention of anchoring such stories then was to attract assistance from government and rich and spirited Nigerians. So when Mariam emerged in Yola, I went to the family house, interviewed the parents and their daughter, Mariam, who is the fifth in the family was in dire need of assistance.”
According to him, there was no one to the best of his knowledge, that came to the aid of the child. Suddenly, the girl, and the family decided to move back to Gombe to see if assistance could be sought there:

“I cannot say if financial assistance was rendered by the time she left for Gombe. Some spirited Nigerians must have being looking for her to give their contributions. “We didn’t hear from them until two years ago, when she re–surfaced in Yola.
“The potentials of Mariam can be tapped if she is enrolled in a special school. She has all it takes for her to make it in life. She has confidence in herself and looks innocent, as she has a unique build up by her Creator. She scarcely goes begging because she does no believe in it. She only solicits assistance from willing Nigerians that can identify with her cause in life.”


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