The Chibok community in Borno State, including residents, family, and church members of Pastor Bulus Yakuru has contributed money as a ransom and plans to meet Boko Haram factional leader, Abubakar Shekau, to secure the life of the pastor who has been given a one-week ultimatum to live.
SaharaReporters gathered that elders in the Chibok community are presently calling for help to get to Shekau, after having raised the money to ensure that Yakuru, whose family and church members are “seriously distressed” was not killed by the insurgents.
Top elders in Chibok confirmed to SaharaReporters that Pastor Yakuru was married with three children, and his wife had terrible depression and was desperately hoping he was not killed by the Boko Haram terrorists.
Last Friday, the pastor cried out in a video sent by the Boko Haram to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Borno State government, and the Christian Association of Nigeria from the terrorists’ den, begging that he had been given one week to live.
Yakuru had said he was in pain and would like to be reunited with his family members, church, and relatives.
The Boko Haram struck Pemi village in Borno, only about 20 kilometres from Chibok, on December 24, 2020, during which the pastor was taken away.
A Chibok top community elder told SaharaReporters that some money had been raised by all of the stakeholders as a ransom, and they were planning to meet Shekau’s men to deliver it for Yakuru’s life.
He said, “Before we saw that video, we had started to take action to contribute money together. We have raised a substantial amount of money as ransom for our beloved pastor. When we saw that video, it only added to our depression. We want to meet Shekau or his men to give them the money. Please, let them collect the ransom and spare Pastor Bulus.
“Anyone who can help us to reach out to Shekau and his camp should inform them that we have ransom to pay and we plead that Pastor Bulus is not killed after one week as they said. We have the ransom. We are ready to pay it. Bulus’ wife has been in crisis. I still saw her last week and she had serious depression.”
Chibok was where the Boko Haram abducted hundreds of schoolgirls in 2014 – some of whom have yet to be released till date.
The terrorists in the video had started a countdown over Yakuru’s life, whom they promised to kill if their demands were not met.
The threats of the insurgents could not be taken lightly as they killed three nurses and a worker with the Action Against Hunger, a humanitarian organisation last year, under the same circumstance – a murder which attracted only condemnation from both national and international organisations.
“Today is the last day I will have the opportunity to call on you in your capacity as my parents and relatives in the country. Anyone who has the intention should help and save me. Please release me from this pain,” Yakuru had stated in the video released by Boko Haram last Wednesday.