The joy was deep, the celebration was huge, words were out of reach as MK yesterday rushed to the family house of Miss Jennifer Ukambong Samuel, the Plateau aid worker abducted by Boko Haram on December 22, 2019.
Rumors started filtering at about 4:30pm that the hostages had been freed. Jenny’s family representatives had attended a two-day meeting with her employers in Abuja.
They had barely arrived Jos when a call came that they should return to the Nigerian capital city the next day. No reasons were given but MK was already tracking official sources in Maiduguri.
At about 5:00pm, MK whispered about the rumoured release to some family members who had been in close contact for updates. But while efforts were still being made to get verified details, Jennifer called her elder sister at about 5:30pm.
“Taimako na ya zo daga wurin Ubangiji…” Meaning “my help cometh from the Lord…” were the wordings of a song repeatedly sang by Jennifer’s mother, Mrs. Naomi Samuel who had been on sustained prayer and fasting since the second Wednesday of Jennifer’s kidnap.
She was in Church praying when the news came and she rushed home in uncontrollable tears of Joy to meet the already waiting MK team.
“I lack words…” She said as she literally knelt to appreciate God and everyone who called.
Jennifer was released through the intervention of the Department of State Securities. The strategies used remain highly classified at the moment. However, all four hostages taken along with Jennifer were received and taken to the DSS headquarters in Maiduguri.
Jennifer’s family have been invited to Abuja today, where they are expected to meet with officials and possibly, Jennifer herself.
A source in DSS however says the freed hostages might not be released to families until they undergo debriefing and medical examination.
Jennifer’s plans before her abduction were to further her studies in Nursing and Midwifery.
MK learns the Plateau State Government which had issued a statement on her abduction and sent delegations to her family I already planning a welcome package.
A top official told MK that she might be given a job to replace the risky humanitarian work she was into when she was abducted.
Alternatively, the source believes the State Government would consider overseas scholarship to enable her heal faster from the trauma incurred, gain the knowledge and experience as well as build the networks necessary for the actualization of her childhood dreams of supporting orphans and other vulnerable groups.