Pastor Moses Oyeleke of the Living Faith Ministries (aka Winners’ Chapel) has been released from the captivity of Boko Haram.
The pastor was abducted by the terrorist group on April 10, 2019 while on a journey to distribute relief materials at Chibok.
Oyeleke regained his freedom alongside a 14-year-old girl, Ndagilaya Ibrahim Umar, who was kidnapped at her village in Askira/Uba Local Government Area of Borno State.
Speaking shortly after he was reunited with his family, Oyeleke expressed appreciation to God. He said:
“I am highly elated, because we came out from darkness to light. I am here in the midst of my friends and family. I am happy because I have been finally reunited with my family and friends.
“I thank Almighty God, the Borno State government, the security agencies, NGOs and all those that contributed and prayed for our release.”
Recounting his ordeal, Oyeleke said he was almost executed by the insurgents during his nearly seven-month stay in his abductors’ camp. He said:
“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, 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.
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 abducted on our way to Chibok, a few metres away from the filling station near Bama Bridge, from where they took us into Sambiza forest.
“We were abducted alongside with my colleague who is still in custody of the Boko Haram though they promised to release him and the sister of this girl (Ndagilaya). We really thank God Almighty, the Kaltum Foundation, the Department of State Services (DSS), the Borno State government, media and all other people that contributed to our release in one way or the other.
“They treated me with care. They were preaching to me on a daily basis and even asked me to join Islam. I kept on fasting and praying for my release. I thank God and all those who have been praying for my release. I am really happy and appreciative to all.”
Also narrating her ordeal, Ibrahim said she and her elder sister were abducted eight months ago, but her sister was still in captivity but I pray that she too get her freedom soon. She said:
“I was in school in our village before our abduction by the Boko Haram insurgents. We thank God for our release. I thank Borno State government, Kalthum Foundation, NGOs and all those that worked for out release.”
“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.
Their freedom was made possible through some local non-governmental agencies who worked in collaboration with the Borno State Government to secure his release.
The mission that led to Oyeleke’s freedom started penultimate week after Governor Babagana Umara had reached an agreement with two respected NGOs and informing the military and security agencies.
The freed pastor and the released woman were subsequently handed over to the Borno Deputy Governor, Usman Kadafur, yesterday.
The abductees, speaking at the Government House, Maiduguri, commended the security personnel and Kaltum Foundation for securing their release.