Mathew Obadiau: How One Activity Saved Lives

February 5, 2024

Matthew and his wife

MATHEW OBADIAU, a thirty-year-old (30) father with two (2) kids who resided in Maraban Rido in Chikun Local Government Area (LGA), Kaduna State, narrated how his community was burnt to the ground and his wife kidnapped, he could not believe everything he has worked and gathered for years got lost within hours.

“On the 21st of June 2023, at around 7pm, I and my family were having a family time in our home, suddenly we had a loud sound like that of a gunshot. We rushed outside to check what was going on, on getting outside we saw gunmen on bikes, like about 20 bikes heavily armed, I immediately told my children and wife to run for safety, we ran to the nearby bush to hide, while running, I lost my wife, but I held on to my kids.”

Unfortunately, Mathew's wife was kidnapped along with other community members, and this led to Benjamin looking for all possible ways to get his wife released.

“My wife spent over 3 weeks there, and what she experienced almost destroyed her, but I thank God there was a support on time for her. Not only her, but I was also affected due to the properties I lost and also the hurdle I had to go through in getting my wife back. It was a terrible experience I do not wish for my enemies.”


After Mathew got his wife back, and they had to relocate to a safer community to start all over, things were not the same as before, he noticed he got angry easily and his wife that was once a jovial and lively person, was entirely a different person.

“Truth be told I never recovered from the loss of my properties, and the large amount of money I had to pay for the release of my wife; the painful part was that my wife returned a different person. Unknowingly to me, I have also been affected by the loss of my properties, I tend to get angry easily.” Mathew Narrates

Mathew and his wife Naomi were part of the MHPSS programme, implemented by the Neem Foundation, both Benjamin and his wife had various sessions and gradually they began to get their lives back on track.

“I am grateful for this particular support, believe me, this has saved a lot of families and individuals from harming themselves. The program liberates our minds and makes us believe the possibilities in the impossible. Thank you so much UNDP and all partners for this tremendous support, my wife, children, and I are back to our normal lives, and this is all thanks to this project. 

To enhance the resilience-building efforts of displaced families, UNDP will assist conflict-affected households within the PBF project. This support will specifically target families impacted by the PBF Livelihood component of the program, aiming to empower those who have lost their means of livelihood to reconstruct their resilience and regain self-reliance.