By Seriki Adinoyi
Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong has commended security agencies particularly the Department of State Services (DSS) over the rescue of five kidnapped aid workers by the Boko Haram terrorist group including Jennifer Ukambomg Samuel, a nurse from Plateau State.
In a statement by the governor’s Director of Press, Dr. Simon Macham, the governor said he was excited at the development and thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his support in ensuring that the abducted are set free.
Reassuring the people that efforts to rescue other citizens of Plateau State still in Boko Haram captivity were ongoing, Lalong asked the families and people of the state to continue to pray and support government and security agencies with useful information that will assist in their quick release. He also said that more security measures are being taken to tackle incidences of criminality to forestall attacks on innocent citizens.
Also saluting the rare display of bravery by the security agents, the lawmaker representing Mangu/Bokkos in the House of Representative, Mr. Solomon Maren, said he was greatly excited at the release of Jennifer.
He said: “Jennifer was abducted with four others along Monguno-Maiduguri road on December 22, 2019 by Boko Haram, on the day she was marking the 21st anniversary of her dear father’s demise.
“We immediately started advocating her rescue, and yesterday January 15, 2020, at about 5pm, the joyful news came that she and her fellow hostages had regained freedom.
“My joy and that of Jennifer’s family’s knows no bounds. I wish to salute the rare courage and bravery of our men in uniform for the sacrifice to protect our nation from the hands of evil men, particularly the Armed Forces and the Department of State Services for facilitating this. I equally wish to appreciate the media, local and international non-governmental organizations, the church and all those who stood with us in the struggle that led to her release.
“I wish to salute the rare steadfastness of her family especially her widowed mother, Mrs. Naomi Samuel, who showed more courage and faith than any of us, praying ceaselessly for her release.
“May I however hastily plead that the same energy be deployed to facilitate the release of others still being held hostage. Top among them is our dear Lilian Gyang, a 100 Level student of the University of Maiduguri from Barkin Ladi LGA, Plateau State, abducted on January 9, 2020, and indeed many others. Government should intensify efforts to bring smiles on the faces of their families too.”
Meanwhile, it was a moment of excitement when the news of Jennifer’s release filtered into her family house.
Jennifer’s mother, Mrs. Samuel, who had been on sustained prayer and fasting since the second Wednesday of Jennifer’s kidnap, was in church praying when the news came and she rushed home in uncontrollable tears.
The hostages were rescued through the intervention of the DSS. The strategy used remains highly classified at the moment. All four hostages taken along with Jennifer were received and taken to the DSS headquarters in Maiduguri.
Jennifer’s family has been invited to Abuja to meet with officials, and possibly Jennifer herself. A source in DSS however said the freed hostages might not be released to families until they undergo debriefing and medical examination.