Pastor Abducted by Boko Haram Regains Freedom

4

By Michael Olugbode

Pastor Bulus Yikura, who was kidnapped by Boko Haram on Christmas Eve was last night released by his abductors, THISDAY learnt.

The clergy had in a viral video released by suspected Boko Haram fighters, pleaded for his life after an ultimatum for his execution was given.

The House of Representatives had on Tuesday called on the federal government to secure his release from the terrorists.

A security source who spoke to THISDAY last night, said the pastor was dropped off in the evening at the outskirts of Maiduguri, the birthplace and epicentre of Boko Haram.

Another source within the Christian community in Borno State told THISDAY that his family members were contacted to pick him up from where he was dropped.

Yikura was sighted in the viral video kneeling and begging federal government and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to help secure his release.

He was quoted in the video pleading: “I have been given only seven days to appeal for assistance that will help me out of this torture.

“If truly you want to rescue me from this untold suffering and threat to life, then you have to act fast.

“I am also calling on the EYN president to help mobilise help that will rescue me, and also pray for me so that God will make things easy for me here”.

Due to his appeal, the federal government had promised to ensure he was not killed by the insurgents.

Yikura was abducted on Christmas Eve last year when Boko Haram attacked Pemi village in Chibok Local Government Area of Borno State and has since been with the captors.

When contacted, the Borno State Chairman of Christians Association of Nigeria, Bishop Mohammed Naga said he had not yet set eyes on Yikura.

He said: “I cannot confirm his release; I am equally hearing it just like you did. I have not been able to confirm it from the security, the Christian community or from his family.”