Gov. Lalong plans economic showoff of Plateau State in 2020

The Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong says he will in 2020 complete ongoing infrastructural projects and initiate new ones to improve State revenue.

With the 2020 budget already signed into law, government will be ‘active’ to deliver “quality, prompt and selfless service” to the people, Lalong said, Tuesday in a new year press statement signed by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Mr. Simon Macham.

“The year 2020 will be quite eventful as we put behind us the distractions of elections litigation and focus on delivering on the dividends of democracy to our people especially in completing the legacy projects we have initiated in all parts of the State.

“We shall commission many of them and also ensure that others are given the desired priority attention,” Lalong said.

He appealed to citizens to citizens to maintain peace for investment to thrive.

An Investment and Economic Summit, the Governor said will be hosted in 2020 to expose the State’s economic potentials to the world.

Ex-Army General writes Buhari over abduction of Plateau Aid worker by Boko Haram

Abducted Miss Ukambong

Former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, and PDP Governorship Candidate in the 2019 election, Lt Gen. (rtd) Jeremiah Timbut Useni appealed to the Federal Government to “spare no effort or resources” to free a Plateau citizen, and orphan, Miss Jennifer Ukambong Samuel, and others from Boko Haram captivity.

Miss Samuel, a midwife with Alliance for International Medical Action was kidnapped along Monguno-Maiduguri road along with her colleague and many others on Sunday 22nd December, 2019, her father’s 21st death anniversary.

Useni, a former Senator said, Sunday in a statement through his media Consultant, Hon. Yiljap Abraham; “It is painful to see many Plateau patriots captured away from home in the line of duty, and some, like Lawrence Duna Dacighir and Godfrey Ali Shikagham, both from Mangu LGA, have had to pay the supreme price in the hands of the insurgents in Borno State. It is all the more disturbing when the reasons for these kidnap and gruesome killings are tied to religious differences and as revenge for other killings outside the Nigerian borders.

Jeremiah Useni
Jeremiah Useni

“I call on the President and Commander In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to impress it on the Armed forces and all security services, the good people of Borno and surrounding States, as well as friendly nations to secure the release of Miss Samuel as well as the freedom of many other Nigerians in captivity.

“Mr President, rise with all the valour from your training and the powers of your office to put an end to these impunities by hostile forces that want to keep this nation in perpetual fear.

“I am also disturbed by a report that another Plateau citizen Bashir Abdulhamid with the Primary Health Care Department of Kanam LGA is among those captured by the insurgents. Bashir’s family and all of us must remain calm and strengthened in the hope that his ordeal will help to raise the kind of aid and action that will give peace to our land and our hearts.”

According to Useni, “It is indeed reprehensible and unacceptable to kidnap or take the lives of people who are out and about their legitimate and official activities to promote the good of the nation and the welfare of citizens.”

The ex military Officer further condemned Christmas day’s execution of some Christians and Muslims by the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP).

The act in his words “is clearly meant to provoke and insult the adherents of both religions in our country by edging them toward greater suspicion, anger and tension.

“But more, it is an act of cowardice accomplished by people whose undefined and godless agenda continues to be frustrated by the good works of good and courageous people even in areas of conflict.”

Useni expressed ‘deepest’ condolences to the families of the slain, and appeal to the families of those still being held captive to remain strong in prayer and positive in expectation.

Alleged Fraud: Court rules on Jang’s “no case” submission today

By: Valentine Adese (JP),

Reality news: Ruling on the Motion of No Case Submission, filed by Sen. Jonah David Jang would come up on Tuesday, the 31st of December, 2019, in the case filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against him and a cashier in the office of the Secretary to the Plateau State Government, Mr. Yakubu Pam, over alleged dishonest mismanagement, diversion and enriching themselves with the state funds during his era as the governor of Plateau State.

Although the processes filed and the Response of the EFCC on the Motion was hidden by the Defendants and the Prosecution from the eyes of inquisitive Journalists, the record of the court shows that, the Motion is dated 30th November, 2019, but filed on 2nd of December, 2019, while the reply of the EFCC on the No Case Submission is dated the 23rd of December, and filed same day.

However, while adopting their Written Addresses, the Prosecution told the Court that there are lots of errors in their process, owing to ‘hurriness’, while the 1st Defendant, through his Counsel, Edward Pwajok SAN, had also told the Court that the Written Address of the EFCC indicates that, they are relying on a different day they were served the Motion and further drawing several conclusions in their address, pointing out that, the court may not have time to deliver on the matter.

Rotimi SAN, while adopting and adumbrating on his written address in response to the Motion in part said, “On the process, it is only on Saturday that I sat to look at the written address. My lord would recall that the court had done trial within trial hence I know it was going to be a long period for the court to conclude this case.

“I am not complaining, but why are they in a hurry now for the court to rule?

“Today’s proceeding is very crucial to me! The issue is, whether the court can conclude the matter this way? I have a Motion/Application for extension of time my lord and owing to the hurriness, there are serious and noticeable errors, which need to be corrected”.

On the other hand, while reacting to the submissions of Rotimi SAN, the Counsel to Sen. Jang, Edward Pwajok SAN in part also said, “They said the EFCC was served on the 4th of December, 2019 and now they are saying that the EFCC was served on the 16th. We have also observed several defects and they have also made several conclusions by saying that, the court has no time to deliver justice on the matter.

“We are on No Case Submission and in one sentence, this matter can be concluded.

“I therefore call on all of us to cooperate to bring to conclusion, this matter.

“Even if we allow this matter as it is now, the court would have read the processes and the application before our reply.

“The case is now over one year and half and one of the Defendants, Sen. Jonah David Jang, is over 70 years. It is better for them to know their fate and rest well with it.

“I would however be shocked if the prosecution met us point for point!”

You would however recall that, the Presiding Judge in the matter, Hon. Justice Daniel Longji, was supposed to have had his last sitting on the 20th of December, 2019, owing to his retirement, but the Plateau State Chief Judge has granted him fiat, to sit up to the 31st of December, 2019, to enable him clear his table and deliver necessary judgments and rulings.

After listening to the submission of the Counsel to the 1st Defendant, E. D. Pwajok (SAN), S. Oyawole (Esq) for the 2nd Defendant and Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) for the Prosecution (EFCC), the court adjourned to the 31st December, 2019, to deliver its ruling on the Motion.

Parliamentarian, Solomon Maren hails Mr. Din on 40th wedding Anniversary

Hon. Maren (right) congratulating Mr. Din at his 40th wedding anniversary celebration

The Member representing Mangu-Bokkos Federal Constituency in the Nigerian House of Reps, Hon. Solomon Maren has linked the political stability of Plateau State to the wise counsels of Mr. Gabriel Din, a renowned Plateau elder statesman and others his type.

Maren, at the 40th wedding anniversary celebration of the grandfather of many, said, Sunday, that Mr. Din has his impacted his personal political life.

“For your advises, your words of encouragement and much more that we have benefitted from you, we say thank you,” said the Lawmaker.

He prayed for more fruitful matrimonial years while pledging his willingness to partner with all well-meaning members of the state for the progress of his constituency.

Mr. Din, a brother to ex military Officer and renowned businessman, Capt. Joseph Din marked his 40th wedding anniversary amid fanfare in Jos, the capital of Plateau State.

Guests from all works of life graced the occasion which held in his private residence at Millionaires Quarters.

Among the guests present were Senator Dr. Jonah David Jang the immediate past Governor of Plateau State, Gubernatorial running mate to Senator Jeremiah Useni in the 2019 Plateau State Governorship polls and among others, Chief Garba Pwul, a Gubernatorial hopeful come 2023.

Why Plateau orphan, Jennifer Ukambong was kidnapped by Boko Haram

Jos, Nigeria: News has made rounds about the kidnap of a beautiful aid worker from Plateau State, by Boko Haram on the 21st anniversary of her father’s demise.

Miss Jennifer Ukambong Samuel, 26, has been working with Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA) for over a year. She is a midwife stationed at the Monguno, Borno base of the international nongovernmental organization.

She had disengaged once but had her contract renewed sometimes 2019. Deadly as the road to Monguno is, ALIMA does not provide security cover or air travels to and from its Northeastern headquarters.

This however does not imply that the NGO is ignorant of the threats posed by Boko Haram in that region. Its contract terms with Jennifer clearly contemplate folding up without staff compensation in the face of security threats. The contract form also conspicuously omit occupational hazards and risk insurance.

Nevertheless, Jenny was determined to bring to bare her professional experience in the rescue of communities impoverished by disaster and victims of insurgency. Though faced with deadly attacks by herdsmen back at home, the Vom College of Nursing and Midwifery graduate chose to remain in Borno working with the medical relief organization.

Ukambong Jennifer Samuel
Ukambong Jennifer

She has never directly faced any threat in the cause of her job except a few cases of Boko Haram invasion which reportedly led to the looting of ALIMA’s pharmacy in the past. A staff was also said to have also been abducted once but rescued by Military Task Force in 24hrs. ALIMA officials have however denied the incident, just as they have denied the Jennifer’s case, despite secretly contacting and inviting her family for talks in Abuja.

Broken vehicle by roadside

The incident took place at about 8am, local time on Sunday 22nd December, 2019, when Jennifer and two of her colleagues set out to Maiduguri, the Borno State capital. Their mission was unknown but their ID cards were in their possession.

They moved alongside a clergyman, a Police officer (in mufti) and a few other travelers on a commercial vehicle. Happily conversing about their plans for Christmas and their careers, they came across a land cruiser vehicle parked by the road side with its bonnet opened.

“It was a rough terrain and that spot in particular had a lot of potholes,” said an eyewitness.

It must have looked like a broken vehicle. Thus, the unsuspecting victims innocently navigated and drove pass it but could not move up to 10meters further.

“Our car just pulled out of a pothole and before it regained balance, we saw gunmen jumping out from the woods. They pointed their guns at us and motioned for us to park,” the eyewitness narrated.

Ukambong’s ID now with the terrorists

Jennifer’s wallet which contained her ID cards was instantly thrown under a car seat. This was to avoid her being identified as an aid worker, given the growing interests of the insurgents on aid workers and security operatives: but it was too late.

Eyewitness: “They asked us to step out and hand them our ID Cards. I hid mine in my boxers and later in my shoe. They searched us and searched the car. When they found her ID card, they isolated her as they did to others and took her to a nearby camp where other travelers had been captured and kept.

“They stopped more vehicles as they did before us and later brought out four men from the hostages’ camp. They laid them before us and shot them dead. They asked those of us without ID cards and our Muslim fellows who included Muslims aid workers to return to our vehicles and leave.

“I wept as I helplessly watched my dear colleague and friend sitting with a gun to her head, while leaving. I insisted on returning for her after filing a Police report at Monguno Division but by the time I got there, they were gone.”

No information

The four killed were identified as Joshua, Dominic, a Deeper Life Bible Church pastor, and fiance to Miss Asabe, another abducted ALIMA staff.

Our source only knew Jennifer among the abductees but later found out about Asabe who is an indigene of Borno.

Others later confirmed to have been kidnapped during the ambush are Miss Hannatu Sabastin Ishaya, in-law to a Pastor and friend to an editor of a global Christian persecution reporting site.

Since the kidnap, no information has been released as to their whereabouts or the demands of the abductors but the campaigns for their rescue have dominated local media.

The insurgents executed 11 earlier hostages three days later, after showing them in a video appealing for intervention hours before the Sunday abduction.

Officials have vowed to work out their release but there growing fears that a delay might lead to them facing similar fate as their previously executed fellows.

Boko Haram has executed several aid workers this year, with many other facing daily threats. 

The fear for Jennifer is that she might be retained as a camp health manager which could expose her to the risk of being caught in a crossfire when forced to care for wounded terrorists on the battlefield.

Be that as it may, her kidnap is yet another test of the Nigerian government’s strength to fight terrorism and the divisive campaigns of the insurgents. Already, the country is reputed as a country of religious bias.

President Muhammadu Buhari, reacting to the Christmas day execution of the eleven Christian hostages declared that no Islamist terror group was representing the general aspirations of Muslims and that the country was poised to promote religious freedom.

The rescue of Jennifer and her fellow abductees who were selected based on their religions, just as the eleven executed, will prove the claims of the President.

25yrs old Plateau graduate joins Bill Clinton, others as Rhodes Scholar

Jos, Nigeria: A 25-year-old Nigerian graduate, Mr. Nwangele Godwin, has emerged winner of the 2020 Rhodes Scholarship for West Africa.

Born and raised in Jos, the capital of Plateau State, Godwin became the second Nigerian and the fourth recipient of the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship from the region since its relaunch in 2017, after beating 2,782 applicants for the 177th year-old scholarship.

With this, Godwin now joins former US President, Bill Clinton and other world leaders who made the list of Rhodes scholars in the past.

In a telephone call to Rhodes Scholar-Elect Nwangele, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State expressed “deep excitement” on the achievement

A statement from Simon Makut, the State Director of Press and Public Affairs, quotes Lalong as saying, “This rare achievement is another testimony to the great minds that have emerged out of Plateau State and are making the country and the world proud.

“This achievement puts you in the exclusive list of great achievers that we are planning to celebrate during the Glorious Stars Event coming up in 2020 where we plan to tell the positive stories of Plateau State as we continue to rebrand and open up our potentials to the outside world. We are very proud of as a young ambassador of our State.”

The Governor, according to the statement added, “unfortunate crises” in the State’s recent past had “sought to damage the hard-earned reputation and positive image of the State as the Home of Peace and Tourism as well as centre of learning, entertainment, sports and creativity.”

This he said “has to be countered with the right narrative which can be told simply and clearly by the testimonies of those who were groomed in Plateau State before being unleashed to the world where they made, and are still making huge impact.”

The Governor encouraged Godwin to be a good ambassador of Plateau State as he proceeds to Oxford University, United Kingdom, for his post graduate studies.

Godwin attended Albakans Pre-Science Private School, Tudun Wada-Jos before where he constantly maintained the top spot in his class and represented Plateau State at the NTIC Regional Mathematics Completion where he came tops, doing the State proud.

He went ahead to fly the colours of the State at the National Stage. He had his Secondary Education at St. John’s College, Jos where he also maintained top spot in his class, and also represented Plateau State at different competitions.

He later moved on to study Electrical Engineering at the University of Nigeria and graduated with a first class as the Best Graduating Student from the Faculty. He later received the COREN award as the Best Graduate Engineer in Nigeria for 2017.

He is currently carving out a niche in the renewable energy space of Africa, a dream he wants to live because of his love for mother earth, and the decision to join in the struggle to save earth and to redefine Africa.

Godwin intends to study Energy Systems at Oxford and says his goal is to deepen his technical knowledge, enhance leadership skills, build valuable networks and develop a global strategy that would help to grow the vision of energy sustainability in Africa and beyond.

Copyright © 2019. MK-Reporters Network.

Lalong visits, kneels in prayer with abducted Jennifer Ukambong's family

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

Jos, Nigeria: 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.

Rep Bagos pleads for release of Ukambong, others abducted by Boko Haram

Ukambong Jennifer Samuel

Jos Nigeria: The member representing Jos South/Jos East constituency in the Nigerian House of Reps, Hon. Dachung Musa Bagos has called the Federal Government to facilitate the release of Miss Jennifer Ukambong Samuel, a Plateau orphan abducted by Boko Haram.

Ukambong was kidnapped along with several others in a deadly ambush along Monguno-Maiduguri road last Sunday, the 21st anniversary of her father’s demise.

She was kidnapped while another Plateau aid worker kidnapped three weeks earlier had yet to be released.

In October, Boko Haram released a video showing the execution of two male aid workers from Plateau – Mr. Lawrence Duna Dacighir and Godfrey Ali Shikagham.

In the video, the executioners said they were killing “these Plateau Christians” in retaliation to “injustices” being done to their kinsmen in Plateau State.

In March 2018, Mr. Darlington Davou and Steve Rowland Ronku, both students of the Plateau State College of Health Technology, Zawang, Jos were abducted by people suspected to be linked to Boko Haram.

Steve Rowland Ronku

In a press statement on Thursday, Hon. Bagos said, “I’m deeply saddened that Plateau Citizens are being abducted, and the recent is that of a Medical Aide worker with Alliance for international Medical Action Miss Jennifer Ukambong Samuel.”

“This calls for immediate security and Government attention,” he continued. “These are mostly youths with professional callings and have dedicated themselves working in the northeast, providing humanitarian help to victims of insurgency,” the lawmaker stressed.

EFCC Vs. Jang: Pro-govt Judge might substitute Justice Longji, January

Jos, Nigeria: Former Plateau State Governor, Senator Jonah David Jang, on Monday prayed the court to speed up hearing into the corruption case filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

This is to enable the presiding Judge, Daniel Longji conclude the case before his terminal leave commencing December 31, 2019.

During the day’s sitting on the Motion of “No Case Submission”, filed by the Defendants at the Jos High Court, the Defense Council, Edward Pwajok submitted that his client was over 70yrs old and needed to get done with the case and rest.

However, “There has been a huge impression out there from different quarters that, the prosecution wants to frustrate my lord and transfer the matter,” he feared.

The prosecution Council, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN had applied for an extension of time on the “No Case” motion over “serious and noticeable errors, which need to be corrected.”

Responding, the presiding Judge, Daniel Longji said he had a “vision” that he might not finish up the case.

However, “In fairness, to all of us, I cannot say anybody has deliberately frustrated this case on all sides,” he said.

“There were reasons for adjournments, especially, when the 1st Defendants was sick. It therefore cannot be reported that there was anybody frustrating the speed of hearing this matter,” Longji maintained.

He however demanded speed in the submission of the prosecution addresses.

He said, “The Defendants have filed a No Case Submission, saying the prosecution has not made a case hence, they want justice.

“On your part, you have the opinion that you have made a case. If you are not ready, they are!

“The eagerness now is that, you don’t have a case, so, let the court set the Defendants free that is their thinking.

“It is your case and they have made a No Case Submission. My last day was 20th December, 2019, but owing to the numerous judgments and rulings that I must deliver, I took a fiat from the Chief Judge (CJ) and I have delivered most. I have up to the 31st of December, 2019. If I adjourn again, it means I am not going to deliver the ruling.

“It is your case and a No Case Submission has been made. You must file answers!

“Counsels already have addresses filed. Let them guide me! I don’t really waste time recounting counsel’s address, but the facts placed before the court is my interest. This is a very serious matter!

“What I would read is the proceedings and what has been placed before the court. I am not to evaluate in a No Case Submission.

“If it is agreed, you should just adopt, without adumbration and believe in God. Else, if I rise, it would be no more!”

Gov. Lalong starts talks to free Plateau aid worker kidnapped by Boko Haram

Gov. Simon Lalong

Jos, Nigeria: The Plateau State Governor and Chairman Northern Governors forum, Simon Lalong says his administration is working ‘closely’ with the Federal Government and Security Agencies to secure the release of Boko Haram kidnapped Plateau aid worker, Miss Jennifer Ukambong Samuel and her colleagues.

Miss Jennifer Samuel who works with Alliance for International Medical Action, a humanitarian organisation in the North East was abducted in Borno state on Sunday by suspected Boko Haram terrorists.

Governor Lalong in a statement signed by the State Commissioner of Information and Communication, Mr. Dan Manjang said his “Rescue Administration” is interested in the welfare of Plateau citizens anywhere in the world.

Therefore, “channels of communication have been opened with relevant authorities to secure the release of not only Miss Jennifer Samuel but other citizens in the captivity of the terrorists,” the Governor said.

Lalong encouraged the family of Jennifer to remain prayerful and hopeful as “nothing is being left to chance to secure their freedom.”

Meanwhile, Governor Lalong has appreciated the Church of Christ in Nations, COCIN and other religious bodies for partnering to care and resettle internally displaced persons, IDPs in the state.

Lalong in a press statement through his information commissioner, Dan Manjang said his government will continue to work with the Church and other religious institutions to meet the needs of citizens especially, the vulnerable.

He tasked beneficiaries of government and the church’s gesture to ensure they use the items given for the purpose meant for & not to contemplate selling them.

Lalong implored other religious institutions, corporate organisations and philanthropists to join in providing support for the less privileged in the state.

Voting opens for 2019 Plateau Man of the Year Awards

COA media, Central Nigeria’s leading public award organizers have declared open voting for the 2019 man of the year awards.

This follows weeks of public nominations.

Having compiled the list of nominees, for various categories, the outfit opened the votes on Monday.

The awardee for each category is expected to score the highest votes both online and through physical survey.

Prospective voters are to click the corresponding circle to their preferred candidate in the linked page

For the sake of fairness and feedback, the organizers have availed a phone line – 08115601779 for contacts.

The award ceremony is expected to hold in February.

Employers of abducted Plateau aid worker covering up for Boko Haram

Central Nigeria: The Alliance for International Medical Action, a global nongovernmental organization providing medical aid in disaster-hit communities has denied the abduction of its staff in Northeast Nigeria.

MK Reporters contacted its Nigerian officials but only one pleaded that he was not allowed “to speak on this matter”.

The US. headquarters of the NGO when contacted insisted none of its staff had ever been abducted since it started working in Nigeria in 2016.

Contrary to these claims however, MK finds that ALIMA staff and facility had fallen prey to Boko Haram terrorists twice before the Sunday attack.

A staff abducted over 12 months ago was rescued by Nigerian troops after fierce battle with the terrorists.

The NGO’s pharmacy in Monguno, Borno State was equally attacked and looted by Boko Haram fighters early 2019.

Just like Jennifer’s case, no statement or effort was made to aid the trauma healing of the affected staff.

The officials could claim ignorance but MK learns that the abduction of Jennifer Ukambong Samuel from Plateau State, her work colleague from Borno State, Asabe, a daughter in-law to a local Pastor, Hannatu Sabastin Ishaya among others on Sunday was duly reported in an emergency staff meeting hours later.

Investigations also reveal that a surviving staff began writing officials from the attack scene along Maiduguri-Monguno road last Sunday.

Furthermore, the responses from the officials to MK’s inquiries suggest full knowledge of the attack, at least after it happened.

Investigations also reveal that staff were warned against commenting on the abduction, particularly using Jennifer’s picture with ALIMA logo.

This was in a meeting summoned by Human Resource officials, Tuesday.

On Wednesday, the NGO also contacted Jennifer’s family inquiring if Boko Haram had brought forth any demands.

Denying the crime therefore suggests conspiracy, which is punishable by both the Nigerian Criminal Code Act and the Penal Code Act.

If otherwise, the NGO by concealing or denying the act might be attempting to save itself from any obligations relating to the rescue of the abducted staff.

"This is most disturbing," says Mr. Solomon Maren, a Nigerian House of reps member in a press statement considers, Tuesday.

In his words, "In the case of Jennifer, the latest abductee, media reports suggest that her employers are even denying the incident, which leaves us with many questions."

Nigerian officials had in 2016 attempted regulating NGO activities in the country but were opposed by local and international rights activists.

In October, 2019, media reports linked a French NGO to Boko Haram activities, causing fresh uproar against international NGOs working in the country.

Earlier reports in 2011 had suggested that the US, France and other foreign governments were funding the terrorists using NGOs.

MK learns of moves by local lawyers to sue ALIMA over the recent abduction of its staff.

If succeeded, the case might mark the beginning of the end of foreign aid missions in Nigeria.

Plateau Rep, Maren "bleeds" over kidnap of orphaned constituent by Boko Haram

Jennifer Samuel

Nigerian House of Reps member, Solomon Maren says Sunday’s kidnap of Plateau aid worker, Miss Jennifer Ukambong Samuel, by Boko Haram in Northeast Borno State is the third in three months.

Miss Ukambong, a native of Bokkos Local Government Area was isolated and captured along with others on Monguno-Maiduguri road at about 8am.

She is the second victim of such terrorists’ abduction from Plateau State in three weeks, and the fourth in four months, says parliamentarian, Maren.

In a press statement on Tuesday, the Mangu-Bokkos constituency Rep said, “Mr. Lawrence Duna Dacighir and Godfrey Ali Shikagham, both carpenters from Mangu LGA, working with an international NGO were publicly executed in a widely circulated video in October 2019.

“The entire Mangu-Bokkos constituency is yet to recover from the experience. Now we hear of the abduction of Miss Jennifer Ukambong Samuel, an orphaned indigene of Bokkos LGA, kidnapped in a brutal ambush the day she was marking the 21st remembrance of her dear father’s demise.”

The kidnap of the “innocent constituent,” Maren said is a “brutal shock”.

“As a representative of the peaceful people of this constituency, my heart bleeds. This is particularly so as reports say another indigene of Bokkos was three weeks ago kidnapped by the same insurgents in the northeast, yet nothing has been done by the Authorities concerned.”

“Enough of the media propaganda”

Maren blamed the growing insecurity in Nigeria on “laxity of government and other concerned parties to do the needful”.

In his work, “These abductions among many instances of insecurity in our nation show the extent to which the terrorists have grown, all owing to the laxity of government and other concerned parties to do the needful.

“As legislators, we will continue to enact laws and carry out all necessary functions with regards to national security.

“I in particular, will not hesitate to throw up meaningful debates that will guarantee the safety and general wellbeing of my constituents wherever they are.

“However, the executive in whose hands lies the power to deploy troops and/or facilitate rescue and other security missions must be active beyond words.

“Enough of the media propaganda. Let us deploy the right military personnel with the right mindset, the right welfare and the right equipment. We cannot be budgeting huge chunks of money to national security and still be losing citizens on daily basis. Nigeria has all it takes to crush its adversities. All that is needed is the right attitude.”

“Test of capacity”

The Rep member demanded the rescue of Jennifer and others in captivity as a prove of government’s commitment to security and religious freedom.

He said, “The kidnap of Jennifer and others in Boko Haram captivity is a test of our capacity as a nation to rise up to the security needs of our communities.

“Given the increasing religious bias in the selection of those to kidnap or execute, drawing from the case of Leah Sharibu and others before now, the kidnap of Jennifer and her colleagues is even a greater test of our religious tolerance, particularly now that the nation is battling to redeem its image following recent poor international rating on religious freedom.

“We must therefore act fast to rescue these innocent ones and prevent a reoccurrence by putting in place the necessary mechanisms.”

Plateau: Courageous Daffo community holds "Praise and Worship" in sacked home village

Central Nigeria’s Daffo community, displaced by herdsmen attacks in 2018 will on Thursday hold a special “Praise and Worship Assembly” at home.

The event is partly a celebration of the gradual return of peace and an attempt to revive old traditions of reuniting communities in special fanfare during festivities.

Holding in Church of Christ in Nations, COCIN Ganda village, the ceremony is expected to gather over 7,000 people displaced from eleven villages.

It is organized by the leadership of Mandung Clan, headed by Da Jonathan Sunday Akun, who doubles as the Galadima of Daffo District, in Bokkos Local Government Area, Plateau State.

Guests from different works of life are expected at the event which starts by 9am.

Mandung Village in Daffo District was attacked on January 24 and March 8, 2018 by suspected Fulani herdsmen.

Over 30 people were killed in the attacks which subsided with the reinforcement of peacekeeping troops but continued with isolated attacks, destruction of houses and farm crops.

Over 4000 of those displaced were camped in COCIN RCC Daffo and Bokkos but later dismissed due to shortage of resources.

Many of them have rented apartments in other locations, while some are currently being housed by friends and relatives.

Plateau lady among aid workers abducted by Boko Haram on Sunday

Abducted ALIMA worker, Jennifer Ukambong

One of the aid workers abducted by Boko Haram in Borno on Sunday is said to be from Plateau State.

Miss Jennifer Ukambong Samuel was a staff of Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA), an independent humanitarian medical nongovernmental organization providing medical care in emergency situations or medical catastrophes.

Ukambong was kidnapped along with her colleague identified as Miss Asabe, and other non-aid workers along Maiduguri-Monguno road.

Though details of the incident and her identity are still sketchy, sources in Maiduguri say Ukambong hails from Bokkos Local Government Area.

If confirmed, she will be the third Plateau aid worker to be captured by Boko Haram in three months.

Two young men from Mangu Local Government were in October executed by Boko Haram.

In the execution video, the group said it was going to kill all Christians, beginning with “these Plateau Christians” – Mr. Lawrence Duna Dacighir and Godfrey Ali Shikagham.

Unconfirmed sources say another Plateau Aid worker was kidnapped last three weeks in a remote Borno village.

Her whereabouts and that of miss Ukambong and her colleague are still unknown.

The abduction has received little media reportage particularly as no demands or official statement has been issued by the concerned authorities.

When contacted, the US headquarters of ALIMA told MK news that it was not aware of the abduction.

“At the moment we cannot confirm that ALIMA staff were abducted during the incident. We don’t have further comments,” says a reply to an email sent to its communications office.

One among many

Every month, there are series of abductions that go unreported, says a humanitarian worker in Borno.

Aid workers are more vulnerable to such attacks because of their newsworthiness and economic value.

ALIMA workers in particular “have been abducted and killed several times”.

Nigerian officials have repeatedly claimed to have decimated the insurgents but their attacks remain prominent.

Last Sunday, an attack similar to that of Monguno road was foiled by military Forces but such does not always happen.

Several attacks on military bases have caused dozens of military casualties.

“Weapons not money”

A Journalist in Maiduguri attributes the vulnerability of the troops fighting the insurgents to the culpability of officials.

He said, “All they do is collect money in the name of armament but end up refurbishing obsolete equipment.

“When the soldiers complain, they give them stipends to shut them up.

“Meanwhile, they only pay them a paltry N1000 ($3USD) as allowance everyday.”

The country recently obtained some military equipment from the United States of America. Whether this helps in curbing the terrorists, only time will tell.

Plateau's Luka Zang Bot, others get N81m for outstanding inventions

The Federal government has disbursed the sum of N81m to 126 upcoming inventors and innovators.

Among the beneficiaries is Plateau’s Luka Zang Bot.

Famed for his stunning computer foot mouse invention, Zang, 25, beat several nominees to clinch the FG’s 2019 Technology Innovation award in August.

The award automatically qualified him for the grant which was released at a special ceremony last Monday in Abuja.

The grant aims to encourage Innovative and creative minds towards a “technological breakthrough” for Nigeria, says the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Science and Technology and Chairman, Presidential Standing Committee on Inventors and Innovations (PSCII), Mr. Bitrus Bako Nabasu.

The Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu said at the grant award ceremony, that innovations and inventions are key drivers of economic progress.

Though no official statement has been obtained, the grant is likely to see Zang expanding his Jos based factory where he produces high capacity power banks, sand sieving machine and the infamous computer foot mouse which are already receiving global patronage.

'Kidnappers' invade Jos broadcaster's home near Government House

Suspected kidnappers on Sunday invaded the home of a renowned broadcast journalist, Mr. Dan Kwada, located 500mtrs to the Plateau State Government House, Little Rayfield, Jos.

Armed with assorted guns of various capacities, the kidnappers, tied up Mr. Kwada’s security man after forcefully gaining access into the house at about 8pm.

Their target was unknown but the AIT reporter was out of town when they invaded, it was learnt.

Attempts by his wife to reach government securities failed, but the invaders fled when she rang an emergency alarm.

“They kept firing in the air as they retreated, but still kidnapped an 11year-old girl few blocks away,” Mr. Kwada told MK news.

It was the third kidnap incident in the Little Rayfield-Gura Topp street in six weeks.

A lawyer and military residents had fallen victims last month, MK gathers.

Despite its proximity to the State Government House, the street, residents say, has witnessed series of other crimes of late, often with no security intervention.

It used to be the access route to the Government House but the nearest Police outpost is over 1000mtrs away.

Officials recently installed streetlights across the State capital but none was installed in the street.

Observers blame the neglect on the protracted political rivalry between the present Governor, Simon Lalong and his predecessor, Jonah Jang.

The ex Governor is said to mostly use the street to get to his house, some 3kms away.

Six die in Jos mining pit collapse

Mining site shot by Punch

NAN: Six persons died when a mining pit collapsed on Tuesday at Zawan Community in Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State.

The member representing Jos South Constituency in the State House of Assembly, Mr Gwottson Fom, confirmed the incident to the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday.

Fom said the ages of the victims ranged from 20 to 27, describing the incident as “sad and unfortunate.”

NAN correspondent, who visited the area, reports that many others sustained injuries in the incident.

“People go out of their way to do things considered illegal just to fend for themselves and their families.

“This is not time to apportion blames but it is sad and unfortunate that a community will lose six vibrant youths in a day,’’ he said.

Earlier, an eye witness and Youth Leader in the community, Mr Emmanuel Gyang, told NAN that the incident occurred on Tuesday afternoon.

He said over 50 persons were inside the mining pit when it collapsed on them, while others were rescued with various degrees of injuries.

“This is the first time we are experiencing such an ugly incident in this community

“It is a devastating situation; losing six vibrant youths in one day is really sad and a monumental loss,’’ he said.

Gyang said the corpses had been buried, while the injured were currently receiving treatment at Our Lady of Apostles Hospital, Zawan.


Gunmen kill three near PLASU, rape campus student

Internally Displaced Camp in Plateau State - representative image

Central Nigeria: The Plateau State University, Bokkos has indefinitely suspended all night programs on campus.

This follows a late evening attack on Monday, by yet to be identified gunmen during a students theatre rehearsal.

One female student was raped and others including staff members robbed during the attack, officials say.

The attack occurred at about 9pm local time, shortly after a campus Christmas carol.

The University Vice Chancellor, Professor Yohana Izam says the Carols will henceforth hold annually but for students’ safety, all night events on campus must have “prior clearance” with “adequate security measures” put in place.

Three killed near University

Two days before the campus shooting, a lady, 25 was shot dead in Kunet village, 1.5km south of the University.

Miss Mary Machief was shot along with her mother by gunmen who attacked their family house on Saturday evening.

An elderly man was killed earlier during a similar attack on 11th December 2019 in Butura Vet village, 1km West of the University.

Mr. Mendez as the slain government diary farm guardsman was known was killed three days after a 50year-old woman, Mrs. Josephine Sati was killed in Mazat village, 7km northeast of the State University.

In all of the attacks, no arrest was made but leaders of Fulani communities in Bokkos Local Government had held a meeting in Jos, the capital of Plateau State to discuss ways to build peace.

The meeting at the instance of an international nongovernmental organization, Mercy Corps followed an interface between leaders of farmers and herders in Central Nigeria, organized by Search for Common Ground.

The Plateau State Chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Mr. Nuru Mohammed had also exclusively told MKR of ongoing anti-violence talks with his young members in the State, organized by his office.

The efforts are expected to guarantee peaceful Christmas celebrations against widespread insinuations that the herders were planning armed attacks during the festivities.

What Miyetti Allah, others are planning for Christmas

Journalists with Islamic cleric that saved over 200 Christian locals during the June 2018 "herdsmen attacks" in Plateau

Jos, Nigeria: At least nine policemen have been killed in Plateau State, in five patrol targeted attacks since September 2019. On October 25, 2019, four policemen on patrol were ambushed and killed in Mangu LGA.

Three police Sergeants were killed in a similar attack in Bokkos on 8th October, 2019. This was barely two weeks after the killing of another Sergeant and an Inspector on 21st September, 2019 in Barkin Ladi.

A week earlier, a Police attache with the Special Task Force was killed while escorting a bread supply van near Monguna village in Bokkos LGA.

With the last of such attack foiled on November 2, 2019, many fear civilian populations might be at risk of fresh attacks especially as Christmas approaches.

Many suspect them to be an arms harvest for possible attacks during the yuletide. However, the sustained mutuality between farmers and herders is increasingly narrowing the chances for any hostilities between the two groups.

Christmas purchases

To start with, the predominantly Christian crop farming population in Plateau State has traditionally relied on the mainly Muslim livestock farming Fulani group for diary products. During festivities like Christmas, the demand for these products increases, causing the two groups to interact more frequently.

In many communities, farmers begin payment for cattle as early as October, but seldom take delivery of the animals till December when Christmas approaches. The herders often, voluntarily bear the responsibility of feeding and caring for the cattle until their buyers are ready to take them home.

During these transactions, the conversation between the two groups is usually centered on gain – the exchange of value, not parochial interests. Hence, friendly, not hostile words or gestures are used to communicate.

This makes it less likelier for there to be clashes except for few, isolated cases of organized crimes such as armed robberies, gang fights, kidnapping, rape and among others, assassination which are often misreported or mistaken for farmer-harder conflicts.

Be that as it may, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) Plateau State branch has taken steps to ensure its youths do not engage in acts capable of disrupting peace and smearing the name of the Fulani tribe.

State Chairman of the group, Alh. Nura Mohammed told MKR that his members will not just sell but accompany and help prepare cattle for the Christmas celebration.

“We will accompany them with the cattle to any location, slaughter it for them and also join in the feast,” he said. This Mohammed said is to strengthen social relationships and teach younger generations the value of peace.

In addition, the group according to him has since September, began organizing peace seminars for its youths in different LGAs.

The goal is to caution them against violence for mutually beneficial relationships to thrive in communities. This partly falls in line with what his local counterpart in Daffo village, Bokkos Local Government Area is doing.

Despite losing eleven communities, and over 40 subjects to violent attacks in January and March 2018, Mr. Bitrus Mandong, the District Head of Daffo has maintained regular peace and security dialogues with all people groups within his jurisdiction for months now.

This is with a view to identifying issues that constitute threats to peace and proffering solutions before they escalate.

With government increasing collaborations for peace through its Peace Building Commission, and the sustained interventions of independent bodies like Search for Common Ground, it is obvious that violence especially during the 2019 yuletide would not be heard of.

What next?

Such efforts must however be emulated by other communities, and sustained beyond Christmas to yield lasting results.

There must also be deliberate efforts to identity and correct existing stereotypes and prejudices, as well as resolve undiscussed issues that have lingered for years.

Similarly, efforts must be made to revive eroded societal values, check unlicensed firearms in the possession of civilians, and among others, encourage community vigilance.

Government should also support such initiatives through sustained public enlightenment, community engagement and prompt crime detection.

SFCG summons Middle-belt stakeholders over "farms-herder conflicts

An international nongovernmental organization, Search for Common Ground has held a two-day dialogue with Central Nigerian stakeholders towards curbing farmer-herder conflicts within the region.

The dialogue in Jos, the capital of Plateau State sought to develop an action plan for “regional interventions” on the conflicts, Mrs. Olutonyin Falade, the Central Nigerian program manager of the NGO said.

Similar interventions had been held in different states, but the “Peace Architecture Dialogue,” Falade said aims to inspire “all-round and holistic approach to dealing with Conflicts and security threats in the Middle-Belt.

The project according to her is part of SFCG’s 24-month “transforming farmer-herder conflicts and promotion freedom of religions and beliefs” project.

Its overall goal, the official said is to prevent violent conflicts between farmer and herders while combating impunity and promoting freedom of religion and belief by increasing collaborations between farmer and herder communities, strengthening implementation of rule of law and promoting conflict sensitive news media reporting.

The workshop on Wednesday and Thursday had representatives of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), religious groups, security agencies and among others, community leaders from Nasarawa, Benue and Plateau States.

"Plateau Man of the Year” Awards open for nominations

Preparations for the annual Plateau “Man of the Year Awards have commenced.

Nominations for the 2019 awards commenced with the opening of the portal – last week.

Categories for the awards include:

1, Plateau Hall of Fame

2, Plateau Man of the Year

3, Lifetime Achievement Award

4, Outstanding Political Personality of the Year

5, Outstanding Senator of the Year

6, Icon of Women Empowerment Award

7, Leadership Excellence Award

8, Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year.

9, Outstanding Public Servant of the Year

10, Best Performance Reps. Member of the Year.

11, Entrepreneur of the Year.

12, Young Entrepreneur of the Year

13, Best Performing Reps. Member of the Year(Constituency Project).

14, Best Performing Local Government Chairman of the Year.

15, Best Performing State Legislator of the Year

16, Industrialist of the Year

17, Extraordinary Business Achievement Award

18, Business/Entrepreneurship Development Award

19, Human Capital Development Award

20, Most Supporting Brand of the Year

21, Outstanding Grassroot Sports Development Award

22, Outstanding Youth Leadership Award

23, On Air Personality (OAP) of the Year

24, TV Presenter of the Year

25, Journalist of the Year

26, Youth Development Award

27, Film Maker of the Year

28, Plateau Young Achiever of the Year.

29, Outstanding Photographer of the Year

30, Make-Up Artist of the Year.

31, Educational Development Award.

32, Ambassador for Peace Award.

33, Outstanding School in Academic Performance of the Year.

34, Best Hotel/Hospitality of the Year.

35, Fashion Icon of the Year.

36, Print Media of the Year.

37. Social media influencer of the Year

38, Best Event Planner of the Year.

39, Artist of the Year.

40. Blogger of the Year

41, Digital Media Entrepreneur of the Year.

42, Technology/ICT of the Year.

43, Humanitarian Service Award

44, Extraordinary Achievement Award.

45, Posthumous Award.

The Plateau Man of the Year Awards aims to “Recognize and celebrate distinctive individuals and institutions who are contributing to the advancement of Plateau, and are making impact across the State/Nigeria,” organizers say.

Inquiries can be channeled to the COA media organizing officials through 08115601779.

Top Nigerian Blogger, Matthew Tega releases eyebolging pre-wedding pix

A leading Nigerian Blogger and Public Relations professional, Matthew Tega has released glamorous Pre-Wedding Photos with his heartthrob, Jil Nanbyen.

The love birds are expected to dazzle down the isle on 21st December 2019 at Agboola Baptist Church, Jos.

Their guests will be treated to a thrilling reception at Carter Colon Center, Adjacent Lamingo Golf Course Jos, Plateau State.

A special Instagram Page dedicated to  updates and throwbacks for creative photos and the proposed wedding video has been created @Jil_Tegha.

The duo will be much thrilled to host you.