The heartbreaking picture shows painfully thin Jibril Aliyu, 10, being rescued after he was found tethered to a wooden pillar in northen Nigeria, where a shocked campaigner said it was “the highest level of barbarity and extreme cruelty”.
Human rights activists took Jibril to hospital after he had reportedly been forced to live outside with chickens and goats for two years,
He was rescued from the hellhole family property in the Badariya area of Birnin Kebbi after a tip-off.
The moment the lad was rescued on Sunday, he can be seen partially clothed while picking up scraps of food from the ground to eat.
Jibril shuffles along with the dirt, with his bony shoulders poking through his loose T-shirt.
The boy – who seems bewildered about being with other humans – can be seen peering under pieces of wood, looking desperately for something to eat, and clearly struggles to walk, because he is so weak.
His painfully thin legs look like twigs in the footage as a rescuer tries to help him to his feet before he is taken from the property to hospital.
In a social media campaign demanding “Justice For Jibril” Manir Jega, a drug abuse activist, tweeted that it was Nigeria’s “worst child abuse of our time”..”
Manir, who also runs the Manir Jega Foundation, shared footage of the abused boy, explaining that “he was chained alongside animals by his two stepmothers for two years.
“His mother died two years ago. He was denied shelter, clothing, food, not to talk of health care.
“He was maltreated by these same people like an animal to the extent that he was feeding on the remnant food of the animals he was tied with and even ate his own faeces until he was rescued by some Human Right activists.
“As a result of monstrous and nefarious treatment he was subjected to, he entirely lost his senses and behaves exactly like an animal.
“What is most surprising is the fact that his father was living in the same house with them while he undergoes this inhumane and savagely cruel treatment.