‘I rejected Boko Haram’s offer to renounce Christ’ — pastor who spent 7 months in captivity speaks
Moses Oyeleke, a pastor with the Living Faith Church Worldwide, better known as Winners’ Chapel, in Maiduguri, Borno state, has been released from Boko Haram captivity.
Oyeleke was abducted alongside his assistant, Abraham Amuta, a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member, along Chibok road in Borno, on March 13, 2019.
The two were members of a committee set up by the church to distribute relief materials to internally displaced persons (IDPs). They were abducted while engaging with the IDPs.
His release was reportedly facilitated by the state government, Kalthum Foundation for Peace, and Initiative for Peace Building, two non-governmental organisations.
Ndagiliya Umar, who was abducted in a school in Askira Uba local government area of Borno, along with her sister and some other people, was also released after reportedly spending nine months in captivity.
“We were on our way to Chibok when they caught us and took us to Yale; from there, they took a detour and finally took us to Sambisa,”Oyeleke told reporters at the office of Usman Kadafur, deputy governor of the state.
“It was the two of us, myself and my brother, who was not released. They have promised us that when they finish discussions, they’ll release them in December; himself and the elder sister of this girl I was released with.
“I am very happy today that we have been rescued because where we are coming from, we have come from a place of darkness to light; that is why my heart is filled with joy because I have seen my family, friends, and associates.
“I stayed peacefully with them for up to seven months. Many times they have requested me to convert to Islam, their preachers had preached to me a lot of times but you know when you have wisdom, you relate with people in a way that would not lead to quarrel.
“When they come to preach, I pay attention to everything they said and when they asked me questions about things that I know will cause problems if I respond, I always tell them I don’t know so that I don’t say things that would offend them.”
The kidnappers were said to have contacted the family of Oyeleke, and Victor Samaila, his resident pastor, a month after the abduction demanding an undisclosed amount as ransom.
On her part, Ndagiliya said: “Life in the bush, they marry off little girls; women do not talk to men, and movement is restricted.”
Leah Sharibu, a schoolgirl kidnapped in Dapchi, Yobe state, is still in captivity till date over her refusal to convert to Islam. Sharibu was among over 100 students abducted in 2017. While all others were freed, save for five who died, she is still with her captors