- The three University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) staff abducted by terrorist group, Boko Haram, are still in their custody after more than three months
- The wife of one of the abductees, Mrs Margaret Haruna Dashe tells NAIJ.com that she fears the federal government may have abandoned her husband and his colleagues
- She however praised the efforts of the UNIMAID management since the incident occurred
The federal government has been reminded on the need to secure the release of the three UNIMAID staff in the custody of Boko Haram since Tuesday, July 25.
The UNIMAID staff and soldiers accompanying them to Lake Chad Basin to explore oil were ambushed by the terrorists leading to the loss of life of dozens of the military men and their colleagues.
The wife of one of the University staff, Mrs Margaret Haruna Dashe and her four kids have pleaded with the federal government to ensure that their dad and husband returns home.
In an exclusive chat with NAIJ.com in their home in Nasarawa state, Mrs Dashe appealed to the government to do everything possible to ensure that her husband returns to her and children safely.
She stated that since her husband and her colleagues were on a federal government mission, the government ought to do everything within its power that they are released.
Read excerpts of the interview below:
Ever since your husband was kidnapped, how have you been coping with the children?
Seriously. I’m not finding things funny with me and the children because a life without him is very painful.
How did you hear about the incident?
It was on the 25th of July that they went for the research they are doing in the area. The morning of that day, he called me and sang a birthday song to me, then he said that day was the last day for their work and he said they will come back before 2:00pm. I called him by 3:00pm, the number was switched off, then I kept on calling him till 8:00pm, the number was still switched off, then I called one of his colleagues in Maiduguri, who went to check on him and called me back to say he will call me before 12:00pm. I waited for his call before I slept off.
The next morning, I called the colleague again before he broke the news to me that there was an attack on the team that went to the research site. We waited for news to hear if my husband was among the dead or those who escaped but he was not among. Until we saw the video on Sahara TV where he was among those displayed by Boko Haram as kidnap victims.
Have the management of the University of Maiduguri contacted you since the incident occurred?
Yes, they came. They were here throughout that week, even the next week. They are trying their best.
What is the latest you have heard concerning your husband and his colleagues’ abduction?
I don’t know for now. But they wrote a letter to the government recently to facilitate their release. But the government is yet to say anything. They should help us bring them back.
Do you think the government has abandoned you to your fate?
What I expect is that since they were working for the government when the incident happened, the government will intensify efforts to rescue them. But their letter to the government suggests that the government has abandoned them.
What of your children?
Yes, I’m not finding things easy with them because they really like their father. He doesn’t joke with them, he buys something for them anytime he is coming back. He speaks to us on the phone every day. They are used to him, especially our youngest child. The have also been sick because of his abduction.
What message do you have for the federal government?
My husband and his colleagues did not go for that job on their own. It was a government work, so I’m appealing to them to help me so that my husband will come back to me and my children.
Watch the video interview below: