As Mrs. Alice Loksha Ngaddah clocks one year today in the captivity of Boko Haram insurgents, Reverend Gideon Para-Mallam of the Citizens Monitoring Group (CMG), which works with Muslims and Christians in Nigeria, has called on the Muslim community in Nigeria to join hands with their Christian counterparts to work for her freedom and that of others still in captivity.
The clergy said it is the “height of reckless sycophancy” for anybody to stoop so low as a “government apologist” to want the issue of those in captivity of Boko Haram to be kept in the “backwaters of our national consciousness”.
Para-Mallam disclosed this in an exclusive interview with DAILYPOST in Jos, the Plateau State capital.
He said, “First, yesterday March 1, 2019 marks one year Anniversary of Mrs. Alice Loksha Ngaddah in Boko Haram Captivity. Alice was serving with UNICEF at the time of the attack on Rann Kala Balge LGA, Borno State by the insurgents on March 1 2018, in which a Medical Doctor serving with UNICEF was killed and Alice a Nurse along with two other Midwives were taken hostage.
“Months later very unfortunately, the two midwives were killed and Alice kept back to serve as a slave. As we remember Alice in captivity, our thoughts and prayers also go out to those parents who lost their wife and daughters while in captivity. May God continue to comfort them.
“Second, I was deeply touched when I met privately in prayer as part of marking the day, when Alice’s husband shared with me that from the day his wife was taken hostage and later into captivity he has been fasting and waiting on God in prayer for one year now and his resolve is that he will continue to do this and breaking only in the evenings; until when his wife is released to join him and their two children: 7- year old Rufus Jigai (son) and 2-year old Binyiyan, daughter.
“I was so deeply touched viewing the pictures of the mother with her children. No doubt I believe these children will keep asking for their mum. The father is now playing both Mr. Dad and Mr. mum. Not a family reality to deal with.”
Para-Mallam, who is an IFES Ambassador World Assembly 2019 and Peace Advocate, added that, “Thirdly, it’s more painful when nothing much is heard about those in captivity. Leah Sharibu, Alice Ngaddah, the Chibok girls and many others who are not known by name.
“I heard some people particularly pro- government politicians were even questioning why those of us seeking to keep the plight of these daughters alive by suggesting that are politicizing the matter during the campaign season. Frankly, when I heard this, it struck me as an unconscionable mindset which requires a reset.
According to him, “It is the height of reckless sycophancy for someone to stoop so low as a government apologist to want the issue of Leah, Alice and others to be kept in the backwaters of our national consciousness. Why?
“Today could easily have passed quietly without any body knowing or remembering that Alice is one year in captivity but thanks to Daily Post, a versatile Online news outlet which keeps helping us to prick the conscience of the nation in sharing our thoughts with the nation and the wider world through this interview.
“Fourthly, though painful but there is no sense of bitterness except to appeal to the Government, UNICEF and the people of goodwill in this nation and the world to continue working for the release of Alice, a humanitarian worker, who was picked up while helping the sick and the wounded in the battle front with insurgents.
“The question on my mind is how could a Humanitarian Worker serving humanity through UNICEF end up in captivity? He asked.
“That is the sad tragedy which has befallen our nation with the birthing of the Boko Haram insurgency. Something needs to be done urgently to end this war of insurgency. It’s dragging on for too long,” he decried.
“The Church in Nigeria needs to continue praying and civil societies need to keep advocating until Alice and Leah along with several others are freed.
“The Muslim community in Nigeria needs to join hands with their Christian counterparts to work jointly for their freedom. The government and the global community should please not appear helpless.
“Fifthly, my appeal also goes to the humanity of Boko Haram to remember that Alice Ngaddah is a mother with two small children who cry for their mother daily. The fate of Alice and Leah are tied together. But will Boko Haram listing? It remains to be seen.
“Government needs to demonstrate more care to the affected families and also in working for the release to freedom of these precious daughters of Nigeria who are unjustly being kept. Their issue is also an issue of justice. They are prisoners of war and conscience”, Para-Mallam explained.
“Alice’s husband said to me that his only hope now is prayers and for Government to never cease in working to bring back his wife and others such as Leah and the Chibok girls.
“For me, I keep praying and asking God daily, for the release of Leah and Alice, the Chibok girls and others. We will continue to advocate until they regain their freedom.
“They must never be forsaken or forgotten. May 2019, bring glad tidings and one day we will hear that they will all be home with their families.
“To Alice I say, ‘be encouraged wherever you are today. God is there with you. If you do get to meet with Leah, please encourage yourselves in the Lord and keep holding on.
“When your husband and I, held hands in prayer today for you, we prayed that you both will mutually encourage yourselves. We hope to see you both soon, by the grace of God,” he prayed.
Daily Post NG