Depressed and Neglected — Travails of Humanitarian Worker Who Spent 545 Days in Captivity

After spending 18 months in captivity, Jummai, a humanitarian worker from Borno State, decried continued neglect by the society she expects to renew her hopes.

Jummai was trapped along Damaturu-Maiduguri highway when the terrorists flagged the commercial vehicle she boarded alongside other commuters. She would spend 545 days in captivity, according to HumAngle’s weekly Vestiges Of Violence.

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It worries her that a society she passionately served as a humanitarian worker would grow hatred for her as if she planned the calamity that befell her.


In Jummai’s opinion, life with kidnappers was much better than living in a society that turns a blind eye to her plight. She believes she is being treated unfairly.

According to her, the present life is unbearable for her and other escapees because they have been neglected by the people with whom they lived before. Although living with terrorists is traumatic, it is better than condoning hatred, Jummai said.

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The terrorists only care about the ransom they will get from the captives’ families, according to Jummai. But no one even cares when they’re in captivity, she added.

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“There was a time I fainted but no one care about me. My co-captives told me that when they reported to the terrorists, they only ask whether am alive or not. If I die they will only bury me and that’s all,” she said.

After gaining freedom from her abductors, Jummai hoped to be accorded dignity and self-respect, but society turned against her thereby plunging her into depression.

“While I was in captivity, I have other sisters with whom I laughed and cried together. We encourage one another,” she said. Now that I am freed, I am being abandoned to deal with my problems as if was responsible for my abduction.”

Jummai did not escape alone from the terrorists’ den, she left with five other girls — Susan, Martha, Maria, Malakaliliya and Grace.


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