Lalong visits family of orphaned Boko Haram hostage, Ukambong

3 min read
Rep of Gov. Lalong kneeling in prayer with Mrs. Naomi Samuel, abducted Jennifer's mother

Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, Saturday reassured of his government’s commitment to rescue Miss Jennifer Ukambong Samuel, an aid worker from the State, kidnapped by Boko Haram last Sunday.

Lalong during a visit to the abductee’s family in Guratopp, Jos, the capital of the State said the peace and security of Plateau citizens anywhere in the world is top priority.

“We are working with all security agencies and other stakeholders to ensure peace returns to the State and citizens live freely and happily wherever they are.

“We are also doing our best to make sure that Ukambong returns, and she will return, as all others in captivity,” said the Governor who is the Chairman of the Nigerian Northern Governors forum.

Lalong who was represented by the State Commissioner of Economic Planning, Mr. Sylvester Wallamko called for relevant information to guide the rescue process, as he knelt down in prayer with the mother of the abducted orphan, Mrs. Naomi Samuel.

A local preacher and Chairman of Bokkos Local Government Area, Hon. Yusuf Machen who led the prayer expressed confidence in government’s ability to rescue the abductee and the entire nation from violent conflicts through dialogue and order necessary means.

Kidnapped on father’s death anniversary

Ukambong, a midwife with Alliance for International Medical Action was kidnapped along Monguno-Maiduguri road along with her colleague and over a dozen others.

A campaign raised for abducted Ukambong Jennifer Samuel
A campaign raised for abducted Ukambong Jennifer Samuel

No demand has been made by the group but officials say they have commenced talks for their release.

Islamic State West Africa Province, which claimed leadership of Boko Haram about four years ago executed 11 hostages on Christmas day.

This was after Government failed to meet their demands after over a month in their custody.

The hostages earlier displayed in an appeal video included Abdulhamid Bashir, who also hails from Plateau State.

Jennifer is thought to be the fifth from the State to be kidnapped in three months.

Two male aid workers from the State were captured and executed in October.

Bashir was captured in November at about the same period a yet to be identified Plateau citizen was kidnapped.

Jennifer’s case has however attracted more attention perhaps for having been kidnapped the day she was marking the 21st anniversary of her father’s demise.

Unsafe at home

Originally from herdsmen tormented Monguna District, in Plateau’s Bokkos LGA, Jennifer’s family reside in Makoli village in Barkin Ladi’s Gashish District, Northern Plateau State.

The village was displaced when herdsmen killed over 200 locals in June 2018.

The Chief of her original home village, Monguna, Mr. Monday Adake was killed in an ambush in 2016.

Bokkos paramount Chief, Lazarus Agai killed in 2016
Bokkos paramount Chief, Lazarus Agai killed in 2016

Few weeks later, his superior Chief, the paramount ruler of Bokkos LGA, Lazarus Agai was also ambushed and killed along with six others.

A 26 years old cousin to Jennifer, Mary Machief was equally killed by gunmen who attacked her family residence in Kunet village two weeks ago.

Mary Machief killed December 2019
Mary Machief killed December 2019

In all of these attacks, no conviction has been secured despite several arrests and trials.

Observers blame the delay on judicial lapses and political influence from interest parties.

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