Pastor Bulus Yikura, who was abducted from Pemi village in the Chibok Local Government Area of Borno State in December 2020, but miraculously freed by the Boko Haram terrorists last Wednesday, has said he survived the captivity by “the grace of God.”
Speaking with SaharaReporters, Yikura, who was freed after being given a seven-day deadline by the terrorists to live, noted that he was glad to be reunited with his wife and children.
He told this newspaper that he had, however, been warned by the security agencies not to disclose “his ordeal and rescue” because of the sensitive nature of the matter.
SaharaReporters reported on Monday that Pastor Yikura had left Chibok in Borno State and relocated his family to another town in another state – the specifics of which were held for security reasons.
Yikura, his wife and three children last Friday, after observing a church thanksgiving in Pemi village, Chibok Local Government Area, left the community.
Speaking briefly with SaharaReporters, the pastor said, “I thank God. I am glad to be back. My wife and children are also happy. I survived it all by the grace of God. Thank you.”
Pastor Yikura was abducted on December 24, 2020, and he had drawn public sympathy when he, in the last week of February, appeared in a video sent by the Boko Haram terrorists, begging President Muhammadu Buhari, the Borno State government, and the Christian Association of Nigeria to secure his release.
He had been given a seven-day ultimatum by the terrorists to live.
Last Wednesday, Yikura was freed on the final day of the ultimatum and was initially received by operatives of the Department of State Service in Maiduguri.
Prior to his release, the Chibok community including residents, family and church members of the pastor had contributed money as a ransom to meet Boko Haram factional leader, Abubakar Shekau, to secure the life of the pastor.
But Yakuru was freed and was debriefed initially by DSS operatives. It is not yet clear if any ransom was paid for his release from the insurgents.
Before his return, top elders in Chibok had confirmed to SaharaReporters that Pastor Yikura’s three children and wife were in a terrible moment of depression.