Alhaji Usman Yahaya is the father of down syndrome boy, Awwal Dayo Yahaya.
In this interview with NigeriaRealNews online, he spoke on how his son was dictected to be a down syndrome patient and the steps taken to manage him.
He also speaks on how he was along side with his son given free to and fro tickets to United States of America for international down syndrome Congress.
Awwal Dayo Yahaya presenting the award to his father, Alhaji Yahaya Usman.
How did you discovered the down syndrome in your son?
It was my late mother that first noticed the changes in the behaviour of Dayo because he behaved differently among his peers, being a young couple we don’t the meaning of down syndrome.
It was later I noticed that he suppose to grow like other children of his age since then I knew that there is a problem with him then I withdrew him from the school and enrolled him at a barber shop for vocational skills acquisition training.
Right, the publisher of Kwara People Magazine, Hon. Abdul Hameed Oladipup Alli presenting the best child award to Awwal Dayo Yahaya while the Kwara State Commissioner of Police, giving lending helping hands during the presentation.
After some times, I decided to expose him life by enrolled him to driving school for six months where at the end of training, he was given licence by Kwara State Vehicles Inspection Office.
I also engaged him on sports activities like swimming, table tennis, ride bicycles and others with out supervision.
Last year, I registered him for National Common Entrance Examination of he came out fine and this too I have registered him for JAMB all what I want is to make sure that he did not look into anyone before doing anything in life.
We learnt that he has been sponsored by a non-governmental organisation to United States of America, we want to know escaltly what led to this?
In 2017, I was watching television in my room, I saw a lot of children who have similar challenges like my son, I picked interest because I never knew that the type of challenges is call down syndrome but it was through media.
Right, the publisher of Kwara People Magazine, Hon. Abdul Hameed Oladipup Alli presenting the best child award of the year to Awawal Yahaya, while the Kwara State Commissioner giving a helping hands during the presentation at the state police command headquarters Ilorin recently.
I later Google it and saw down syndrome Nigeria foundation and I red everythings about them, they invited my son and directed me to accompany him and three of us followed him to the office of the organisation in Lagos.
From there, a lot of people called me to appreciate me because he was able to do what other people like him could not do.
The founders of down syndrome foundation Nigeria, told me that he will expose my son to the entire world then wrote to the head quarters of down syndrome international in United State of America about my son.
Right, the publisher of Kwara People Magazine, Hon Abdul Hameed Oladipup Alli presenting best child of the year award to Awwal Dayo Yahaya while Mr.CG Woru and publisher of NigeriaRealNews online, Mallam Issa Saliu giving supportive hands during the presentation at the Kwara State Police Command Headquarters recently.
The down syndrome international invited me as his father, his mother and one of his siblings but unfortunately, I was only one followed him not knowing that three of his family members were invited to attend the congress organised by down syndrome international held in USA.
What are the lessons learnt from the congress that you want to share with Nigerians?
First of all, I want to appreciate my friends, my families who encouraged me and the Nigerian down syndrome foundation for the opportunity because with out them nothing is possible.
The lessons learnt from USA was quite interested because their government takes the welfare of people living with down syndrome very serious by providing both regular medical and financial assistance for them.
In that country, they don’t allow them to leave independent life unlike Nigeria where no one is taking care of them, no accommodation for them in Nigeria programmes but we are managing them by ourselves.
What is your advice for the government on the welfare package for the down syndrome people?
The appeal I have for Nigeria government is to recognise down syndrome people, because the government only captured the deaf, dumps, cripples, blinds and others special needs people forgot people born with extra Chrosome.
Have have any cause to regret of being a father to a down syndrome child?
No I don’t regret of being a father to him because the God that created me, created him but with the fact that he was born with 47 of chromosome instead of 46 that make look different and am proud of him.
I urged all that gave birth to down syndrome child not to denies them because they have intellectual disability.
Left, Awawal Dayo Yahaya pose for photograph with a well-wishers after the presentation.
Recently, he has been given outstanding best child award by the publisher of Kwara People Magazine, Hon. Abdul Hameed Oladipup Alli and thanked him for honour done to my son.