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Corper kidnapped in Borno by Boko Haram in 2019 while on evangelism, turns down offer to be set free, says he wants to stay with group

Valentine Chinyem

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Facts have emerged on how ex-corps member, Abraham Amuda bungled the process initiated by some negotiators to secure his release from Boko Haram almost a year after he was kidnapped by the insurgents on Borno’s highway.

Abraham, a batch B corps member was undergoing his National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) scheme at the Borno Council for Arts and Culture, when he and a Living Faith Church pastor, Moses Oyeleke were abducted by the Abubakar Shekau’s faction of Boko Haram on April 10, 2019 along Maiduguri-Gwoza road while travelling to Chibok to deliver relief materials.

While Pastor Oyeleke was released on November 11 after intense negotiations, Abraham was held back by Boko Haram. Multiple security sources told Daily Sun the insurgents had promised to get across to the negotiators sometimes in December 2019 after they might have concluded with their leader, Shekau.

However, the process of releasing the Benue born Abraham started late January, culminating in a meeting between the insurgents and the negotiators on Sunday, February 2. He would have been a free man like his colleague abductee, Stella Ibrahim but for his refusal, preferring to serve God in his newly chosen faith.

“I have chosen not to go back to Nigeria. I have taken decision not to go back to Nigeria. I thank the Living Faith Church and everybody showing concern for my release. I am not a boy. I have been to school and I know the decision I have made,” he declared in a very stunning manner in the presence of his negotiators and some Boko Haram in a new video released by the insurgents. Abraham spoke in both Hausa and English languages.

Chairperson, Kalthum Foundation for Peace (KFP), Ummu Kalthum Rabiu, one of the local negotiators, described Abraham stance as shocking.

“I was shocked. I have never seen something like this since I started negotiations,” she told Daily Sun. She said the young man did not appeared to be under stress but calm when he turned down the offer to be released.

“He said as the Living Faith Church sent him and Pastor Moses to go and deliver some relief items but were kidnapped, he has chosen to stay with Boko Haram to also be doing humanitarian work with the insurgents since that was what he was initially sent to do at Chibok,” she disclosed.

She said the insurgents had earlier warn Abraham and Stella, the other abducted girl to speak the truth about them when they return to the society. “Then they opened the floor for both of them to speak at least before leaving the bush. Then Abrahma said he has something to say. He thanked Living Faith for striving to ensure his release but that he has chosen to stay and serve God with the insurgents.

The negotiation was spearheaded by the Borno state government in collaboration with Kalthum Foundation and other negotiators in the security circle, Daily Sun gathered. They were also accompanied by one of Abraham friends to identify the young man.