Winners Pastor, Moses Oyeleke Kidnapped By Boko Haram Is Released After 6 Months

Pastor Moses Oyeleke, a cleric with Living Faith Church (Winners Chapel), #Maiduguri, #BornoState, has regained his freedom, after six months in Boko Haram’s captivity.

The pastor and a National Youth Service Corps member, Abraham Amuta, were abducted in May, 2019, while on their way to Chibok to distribute relief items to Internally Displaced Persons and evangelize.

Oyeleke who was abducted alongside a corps member in the southern part of Borno on April 10 by Boko Haram and released on Sunday evening, said he was almost executed by the insurgents during his nearly seven-month stay in his abductors’ camp.

“My survival is an act of God. I was almost executed by the Boko Haram. They told us one day they were going to kill us but they changed their mind later,” he told our correspondent shortly after he and another teenage school girl, Ndagilaya Ibrahim Umar were handed over to the Borno government by the Department of State Service (DSS).

He, however, said the insurgents did not manhandle him. “They didn’t manhandle me; they gave me foods but often times I didn’t eat. I was always praying and fasting.

“They asked me to stop my prayers and be praying like them. I told them it is the same prayers we are doing together to same God and since it is the same God that owns all of us. So they left me,” he explained.

He also said he was always attentive anytime the insurgents preach to him and never argued with them or ask questions, a development which made one of them developed interest in him.

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He disclosed that the National Youth Service (NYSC) Corps member abducted with him was still with the insurgents, calling for prayers for his release too.

While recalling how he and the corps member were kidnapped by Boko Haram, he disclosed that the incident occurred a few metres to a deserted petrol station near Bama in the central part of Borno.

“We were going to Chibok on that day and as we were approaching the bridge, few metres away from a deserted petrol, the insurgents ambushed us,” he explained. He said they were driven into Sambisa bush where he spent most part of the seven months.

Fourteen years old Ndagilaya Ibrahim Umar, said she was 13 when the insurgents abducted her. She was abducted in her village near Lassa at Askira/Uba Local Government. She was a student at the Government Science Secondary School, Askira Uba.

“I spent nine months with them (Boko Haram), ” she disclosed. She said she was neither violated nor given to any of the insurgents as was often the case with Boko Haram. “I saw some young girls being given in marriage by Boko Haram,” she said.

The release was negotiated by some local non-governmental organisations.

“We have been working hard to secure their release but thank God today they have been set free. We went through processes before we secured their release,” Kalthum Umar, founder of Kalthum Foundation for Peace said.

Borno State deputy governor, Usman Kadafur, while receiving the released victims commanded the security operatives and the local NGOs.

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Our correspondent learnt that the processes for securing the release of the pastor and teenager was initiated by the state government and ransom allegedly paid to Boko Haram

According to reports, he was freed yesterday, while Abraham remains in captivity allegedly because the abductors said he is “stubborn” to them. However, he is expected to also regain his freedom in December.

After being released, Pastor Oyeleke headed to church to give praises to God and he is now safely at home.


The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a communication researcher with several years of lecturing experience in Nigerian universities.

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