Jos erupts in celebration as cleric returns from 8-month captivity in kidnappers’ den

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(Last Updated On: 2021-06-18)

…Overjoyed wife delivered of baby boy hours after husband’s release
…Gov Lalong excited over release of Zongo

THEIR joy was spontaneous and knew no bound! They danced, sang and praised God in many ways all because of the miracle man of the moment-Reverend Polycarp Zongo.

Zongo, a fiery pastor with the Church of Christ in Nations, COCIN, was forcefully taken away on his way to Gombe for a conference on October 19, 2020. In fact, all hope had been lost that he would even return alive, having spent over eight months in the captors’ den without any word from him, leaving his pregnant wife and family members in distress.

But on Monday this week, and against all expectations, ISWAP terrorists, who seized the reverend gentleman, voluntarily returned him to his family, leading to an eruption of unceasing joy and celebration in Jos, the Plateau State capital for days.

Many did not believe that he was the one when he sauntered into his compound. Others received the news of his return as one of the big jokes of the century. But it was true: He had been freed by his captors.

Not unexpectedly, Christian faithful were overjoyed over the release of Rev. Zongo.
But looking frail and dazed, but full of thanks and gratitude to God for his divine escape from his evil captors, Zongo, beaming with smiles, described his freedom as ‘another opportunity’ given to him by God to positively affect the world for Him.

He said he could have been killed and his memory wiped off if God had not touched the hearts of his captors to spare his life and to release him after being kept away in the dungeon for eight months.

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To add to the divine blessing attending his release, his wife, Kaneng, was delivered of a baby boy just hours after he arrived home to tell the story of his captivity. For Rev Zongo, it was a kind of double victory with his release coinciding with the delivery of his son.

He said: “The delivery of my wife of a baby boy is a great victory for our family. It is a double blessing and calls for celebration”.

Zongo, who spoke with Arewa Voice on the phone on Tuesday evening in company of one of his allies, John Pofi, expressed joy over his release and appreciated everyone who prayed for him while in captivity and supported his family in any way possible.
Reacting to the release, Pastor Pofi disclosed that a non-governmental organisation known as Kalthum Foundation went in for his rescue and brought him out from the dungeon.

“We give God the glory,” Pofi, the National Coordinator, Prayer Force Network, said.
Pofi, however, urged Zongo to rededicate his life for greater service as he got another chance in life to live and tell his story.

“Today’s event is one in a million, to receive one of our own whom like what the Holy Bible says was lost and now is found, and I said, he was dead but God raised him back to life.

“It may interest you to know that on the second of March, 2021, at the risk of being arrested by agents of the state, I wrote a strong-worded open letter to the President for intervention and subsequent release of Rev Zango and Pastor Balud Yakuru of the EYN who were kidnapped in December, 2020.

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“The struggle was quite frustrating as people who were supposed to assist were running away from engaging in the struggle to free this gentleman. I must sincerely appreciate the Kalthum Foundation for Peace for its doggedness, courage, resilience and patriotism by standing in the gap to ensure that Rev Zongo is freed from his dangerous captors.

“Kalthum Foundation for Peace and the John Pofi Foundation have done their best and to the glory of God, no ransom was paid for the release of Rev Zongo but his release was made possible through the strong, diplomatic persuading and convincing power of negotiations.”

He chided the government saying, “The federal and state governments have failed in this regard leaving their citizens to their fate. There is urgent need for the federal government to declare a state of emergency in some parts of the country to be able to tackle rising spate of insecurity in the country.

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“I’m speaking today with great joy not only because the clergyman has regained sanity but because it gives me endless hope that despite the despairing nature of the security situation in the country, there is a little hope at the corner.”

For other captives, he stated, “It therefore means there is hope for Leah Sharibu, there is hope for the 150 kids that were abducted two weeks ago from the Salihu Tanko Islamiya School in Tegina, Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State some of whom are as young as three years, there is hope for Alice Ngaddah, there is hope for Grace Tuka, there is hope for Lilian Gyang.

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“There is hope for Jummai Saleh, there is hope so many others who are still languishing in captivity. There is hope, and there is hope for you and me whose daily safety is not assured, there is hope for everyone.”

Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, also expressed excitement over the release of Rev Zongo and praised all those who played a part in his freedom and those who supported his family while he was in captivity.

He urged him to remain strong and use his ordeals to encourage and motivate the people towards trust in God and respect for humanity.

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