Unguwar Yari village in Jega LGA of Kebbi State has become a Mecca of sorts for people who wish to try the 'healing powers' of a spring water discovered recently in the area.
Hundreds of visitors from within and outside Nigeria, mostly people with various ailments, have already visited the village. Locals say over 100 of patients have been 'treated instantly' after using the water.
Village residents now make a business from selling plastic containers and cans to people who come to fetch the water. Food sellers, commercial drivers and motorcyclists also benefit from the visitors. However, the water itself is free for anyone to use it or take some with them.
Mohammadu Sani says he has benefitted immensely because of his plastic can business:
"Ever since people discovered the water and its healing powers, it has been a blessing to me. My plastic business is booming. I sell each can at N300. Empty or filled with the water, the price remains the same," he said.It was learnt that the villagers were unaware of the potential healing powers of the water until an elderly woman fetched the muddy water gushing out from the sand and gave it to her sickly pregnant daughter-in-law to drink. The woman allegedly overcame the illness after this, even as modern medical treatment had no effect.
Also, a blind woman is said to have regained her eyesight after using the mysterious water.
Soon, Unguwar Yari, a previously quiet village, was buzzing with patients with different ailments such as paralysis, diabetes, asthma, hypertension, madness, menstrual problems, by people afflicted by spirits and children with body deformities. Even politicians are among those who visit the village.
Fatima Muhammadu, 19, a married woman, was carried to the water spot and drank and bathed with the water. She says she has regained her health fully:
"For over 12 years I have lived with this ailment [sickle-cell disease] despite going to hospitals for medication. Before using the water, I found it difficult to walk, but after using the water, I am now ok," she said.Usman Maigadi, 55, said he suffered from asthma for years but also fully regained his health after using the water and has since resumed farming. "I can even stay in a dusty place now unlike before," Mr. Maigadi added.
The village head Umaru Wakili Hakimi, 52, says:
"Well, our belief about this water is that it is a blessing from God, not any spirit or magic. The news of its powers spread like wild fire and people began to come into the village to fetch and give the water to their patients.
"The discovery of the water is a blessing to our village people come from every part of the world with the sick and to get the water.
"We do not collect a kobo from people who come for the water, it's absolutely free of charge. The state Director of Health was here and he said the water is ok after tasting it," Mr. Hakimi says.Director of Public Health, Sani Argungu, says the sample of the water has been taken for laboratory analysis to Federal Medical Centre, Birnin Kebbi.
It will be recalled that a similar case made headlines in December 2013, when 'Orimiri' healing pool was discovered in a forest about 3km from the Nachi bus stop along Onitsha/Enugu road, Enugu State.