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If Lagos-based Customs officer, Mr. James Gadzama Pallam had known, he would have thought of another way to honour his brother, Emmanuel, whose wedding he attended in Maiduguri, Borno State on April 7, 2013 with seven members of his family.
Mr. Pallam, an Inspector, had travelled from Madagali in Adamawa State, for the wedding and till today, the family of eight are still missing. He and his wife had phoned the extended family to tell them about the success of the ceremony and that they would be coming back on April 8, not knowing that there was an imminent danger.
The eight people, his wife, five children including a toddler and cousin, that had bade Emmanuel bye after the wedding, are nowhere to be found. They have been abducted by gunmen, without ransom placed on any of them nor the entire family. The family which left Maiduguri on that fateful Sunday, are missing without a trace. Daily Sun learnt that gunmen in a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) and said to be in police uniforms, intercepted the family around Firgi, a boundary town between Borno and Adamawa states.
Recalling moments before the incident, the extended family said Pallam and his wife had been on phone with them. “But within seconds, the couple lost contact with us, courtesy of the men in police uniforms, who ordered them to stop, but alas!, they were abductors.” According to the newly-wedded Emmanuel, “at a time, the family was told that Pallam and the rest were seen in Damboa, Borno State. We went there, but it was a hoax.”
A relation of Pallam, and former Deputy Speaker of Adamawa State Assembly, Hon.Emmanuel Tsamdu, said the incident had been reported at a police station in Borno State. Pallam, a native of Pallem in Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa State, was reportedly abducted along with his cousin, Francis, a part four student of Moddibo Adama University of Technology, MAUTECH, Yola (Department of Civil Engineering). Confirming the abduction to Daily Sun, the Chairman of Madagali Local Government Area, Abaw Wathlarda, an engineer, said Pallam was abducted with his family while returning in his personal car from Maiduguri after the wedding of his younger brother,en route Madagali when unknown gunmen in a Mitsubishi SUV forcefully intercepted his car and pulled the family out of the vehicle.
According to him, the family was abducted at Firgi village,Yola, a boundary town. The council has mobilized people and family members, but t there was no trace of the victims. Pallam hailed from Pallem, near Mildlu, the country home of the Deputy Governor of Adamawa State, James Bala Ngilari, who lost two of his aides in a recent attack on the village that claimed 11 lives. The two aides were killed at a time when Pallam and his family were abducted at Firgi.