Pastor of the Living Faith Church, Moses Oyeleke, who was freed by Boko Haram on Sunday, narrated his seven-months sojourn inside Sambisa forest.
Speaking to Daily Trust, shortly after he was handed over to the Living Faith Church Leadership in Maiduguri, he said the Amirs of the Boko Haram sect, were respectful towards him. He also said the insurgents kept them in a 3-bedroom flat in the heart of Sambisa forest.
It would be recalled that he was abducted along with a corps member, Abraham Amuta, when they were on humanitarian service in Chibok town. Abraham is yet to regain freedom.
It was gathered that they were intercepted a few kilometres away from Bama on the 10th of April, 2019.
“I have to say that, throughout my stay there, they were not hostile to me. Their Commanders addressed me as Pastor Musa, instead of Moses. They treated me with utmost respect, they never maltreated me.
“They have several chalets inside Sambisa forest; we were not allowed to live with women. The women stay in a separate place from the men. And the men live according to their ranks. As a matter of fact, I exercised every morning in the chalet,” said.
He added: ‘‘They came to preach to us but they didn’t force us, they came several times. I told Abraham to be strong in the faith, it was not easy. I thank God for rescuing us. I know the government is working to secure the release of Abraham Amuta and others.
“I am happy to reunite with my family, I cannot thank everyone enough; the Borno State government, Kalthum Foundation and security agencies who made this possible’’.
The Executive Director, Kalthum Foundation, Ummu Kalthum, said she was happy that the two persons regained freedom after weeks of negotiations.
“It started with negotiations some weeks ago with the group about the possibility of releasing them to us. They asked me to come and collect them on Sunday, so with the help of security agencies, they finally released two of them on Sunday night around Gwoza Local Government Area. “As you know, it’s not easy to engage in negotiation; we had to start with dialogue.
We are building trust and mutual understanding which will eventually lead to cessation of hostilities. “Secondly, I want to know how I could be of help in creating a window for negotiation.
Actually, what motivates me to do this work is because I am interested in getting the Nobel prize.” Ummu Kalthum said.
The pastor and another woman, one Ndagilaya Ibrahim Umar of Government Science Secondary School, Askira Uba in Borno State, regained freedom from the armed insurgents on Sunday night.
It was also learnt that the long road to the pastor’s freedom was initiated by Governor Babagana Umara Zulum, through the help of two Non-Governmental Organisation (NGOs), with sufficient knowledge and contacts with the insurgents.