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This man was insane for 24 years, but he’s now okay

Posted by By Ime Ola and Oluwatoyosi Ogunseye on 2005/07/04 | Views: 531 |

This man was insane for 24 years, but he’s now okay


The story of Mr. Fidelis Azumah (60), an Oxford-trained Marketer, is stranger than fiction. He was insane for 24 years, living in the street of Lagos. But today, he has regained his sanity. And he is proud to tell anybody who cares, "I feel alright.

The story of Mr. Fidelis Azumah (60), an Oxford-trained Marketer, is stranger than fiction. He was insane for 24 years, living in the street of Lagos. But today, he has regained his sanity. And he is proud to tell anybody who cares, "I feel alright.

Azumah’s travail started in 1981 when he returned to Nigeria from London, after graduating from the West Broomwish College of Technology, Oxford University, United Kingdom.

He had left his hotel room in Lagos, one fateful day, but ended in the streets as a lunatic, a state he was for 24 years. Within this period, he lived in the street at Tinubu Square and Achapo area of Ajegunle, Lagos.

Daily Sun gathered that one of Azumah’s friends had made efforts to take him out of the streets, but failed as he refused. He even refused to wear the clothes bought for him by the friend. He roamed the streets and picked food from the dustbin.
As a lunatic, Azumah never took his bath or combed his hair for years, making his hair to become unkempt and dreadlocked.

However, luck smiled on Azumah when his friend took his case to a non-governmental organisation, Commission Foundation International Home for Mentally Ill Persons. The NGO had lured Azumah out from the street to its centre in Ajegunle, in 2001, where he was cared for. Miraculously, the man regained his sanity after series of prayers and care at the home.
Now sane, Azumah cannot remember what happened to him. When Daily Sun asked him what happened, he just stared into space and said he did not know.

The founder of the home, which rescued Azumah from the brink, Mrs Felicia Martins, said: "A former classmate and friend of Pa Azumah told me that he lodged at a hotel in Lagos when he came back from Britain and that one day, while still lodging there, he went to stay under a tree and did not return to his hotel room. Later, he was found in the streets. The friend said when he initially saw him at Tinubu Square, he offered him some clothes and food, which he rejected. That was how he continued roaming the streets of Lagos. He usually sat at CMS, opposite the Cathedral Church, until he finally made Achapo his base."

Azumah, speaking Queen’s English, told Daily Sun: "I feel alright," adding: "My name is Fidelis Azumah. I am 60 years old and was born in Ibawa, Akwa Ibom State. I am a native of Amakofia Otutu, Arochukwu in Abia State. But I lived at Arochukwu. I attended St. Mary’s Catholic School, Edien Abak, Holy Family College, Abak and Kings College Lagos. I then went to West Broomwish College of Technology, Oxford University in Great Britain, where I studied Marketing for four years. I came back to Nigeria in 1981. Before I traveled, I worked with the Nigeria Police and Phillips Nigeria. I am married with six children. They are in Aba and Arochukwu. I lived with my parents in Calabar at No 26, Nsisuk Street, Calabar Cross River State. I joined the Nigerian Police in 1965."

Azumah, who was popular in Lagos as a lunatic, confirmed that he was rescued by Commission Foundation International Home for Mentally Ill Persons, adding: "I have been at Commission Foundation International Home for Mentally Ill Persons, Ajegunle for about four years now. I would want to go back to Arochukwu after the police people have arranged my transportation fare."

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.