Christian Pastor Escapes Boko Haram After 10 Months in Captivity

Nigeria Boko Haram
A damaged crucifix overlooks the scene of a bomb explosion at St. Theresa Catholic Church at Madalla, Suleja, just outside Nigeria's capital Abuja, on Dec. 25, 2011. Five bombs exploded on Christmas Day at churches in Nigeria. |

Christian pastor Rotimi Obajimi has escaped from terror group Boko Haram in Nigeria after nearly 10 months in captivity and has been brought back to his church, reports said.

"We were so amazed to see him because we have been praying earnestly for a long time trusting Jesus that He would surely come back, but lo and behold he was brought to our headquarters in Maiduguri by the military," a pastor at Redeem Church in Maiduguri told SaharaReporters.

Obajimi, who led the church in the rural area of Borno/Yobe province, was kidnapped by Islamic militants on Jan. 6. He was then taken to Sambisa Forest, where he was tied down for months, before being moved to an unknown destination and brought back to Sambisa once again.

The pastor revealed that he managed to escape thanks to a heavy downpour that led to large floods in the area, forcing his captors to leave him. Obajim wondered for days through the forest, before finally arriving to a village, where the Nigerian military picked him up.

He was treated at Maimallari Hospital and debriefed by the military before being allowed to return to Maiduguri.

Boko Haram, who have been waging war on the Nigerian government for over five years now, have slaughtered Christian pastors and entire congregations in their mission to establish Islamic rule over the nation.

Earlier this week the militants beheaded seven villagers in the northeast town of Ngamdu, apparently as revenge attacks against locals who have aided Nigeria's military or have formed vigilante groups to fight back against Boko Haram.

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau dismissed claims that he had been killed in a video last week, and said that he is implementing strict Sharia law on towns in Nigeria that have been captured.

"Nothing will kill me until my days are over. ... I'm still alive. Some people asked you if Shekau has two souls. No, I have one soul, by Allah," Shekau said in the video.

"We are running our caliphate, our Islamic caliphate. We follow the Quran. ... We now practice the injunctions of the Quran in the land of Allah," he added.

The militants made international headlines in April after they kidnapped over 200 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok.

There are fears many of the schoolgirls have been sold off as child brides, sparking international outrage. In July, prayer rallies and vigils in support of the girls marked 100 days since their kidnapping.

Initial hopes in September that the girls had been rescued were dashed after the Nigerian army clarified it had rescued some girls from the militants, but not those from Chibok. Boko Haram fighters have reportedly killed at least 11 parents of the schoolgirls in separate raids near Chibok.

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