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How we outsmarted Boko Haram to become undergraduates — Survivors

By Isaac Olamilekan

For John Ayuba, Nathan Ibrahim and Marcus Ali, all inmates of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Uhogua in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State, life has somewhat been good to them. For years, the trios, from Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State, were constantly moving from one place to the other in search of safety and a suitable place to further their studies.

Ayuba, Pastor Omigie and Ali

The trio are now undergraduates. John, 20, is studying business administration at University of Benin; Nathan, 19, law at Edo University, Iyamho and Marcus, 21, medicine and surgery also at Edo University, Iyamho.

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John, recalling his life experiences while navigating his way to safety from the grip of the dreaded Boko Haram insurgents in his Gwoza homeland in Borno State, could move the average listener to tears. One harrowing experience that he will not forget in a hurry was while escaping from the insurgents only to come face-to-face with another batch of the terror gangsters who shot at him at close range only missing their target by divine intervention.

“We heard of the presence of the insurgents and, as I jumped over a high fence in my bid to escape, the structure fell on me. I got up immediately not minding the pains I was going through. As I moved in the direction of some chaps who I felt were part of us, a staccato of gunshots were directed at us. But to God be the glory, we escaped the onslaught”, he narrated.

“I also recollect one occasion when, as we were escaping, the terrorists came after us polluting the nearby streams and rivers so that we will not have good water to drink. Most times, the soldiers that were posted to our locality to provide security were overpowered by the insurgents and, in their bid to escape, they pulled off their uniforms and begged us to give them our clothes with which to disguise”.

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On the part of Nathan, he is the eldest of five kids of his parents but lost his dad in one of the deadly attacks of the insurgents, leaving him and his four siblings in the care of his mother who had it tough coping with taking adequate care of their needs.

Marcus, also at a time, found himself in Abuja where he fell into the trap of a fraudster who promised to sponsor his education only to start acting strange.

“Only God knows what would have happened to me if the evil man had achieved his aim,” the inmate submitted.

The trio claimed that their coming to the IDP camp in Uhogua had made a positive change in their lives giving kudos to Pastor Solomon Folorunsho, the Camp Commandant, for his fatherly love and care for them.

“Pastor Solomon Folorunsho is always encouraging us, motivating us and praying for us to attain unimaginable heights,” they chorused.

They also showered him with praises for making all the kids in the camp to have the benefit of free education viz free books, free tuition, free feeding and free uniforms.

Mrs. Evelyn Omigie, a care giver at the camp, gave thanks to God who made it possible for the youngsters to have a safe haven in the camp.

“I give kudos to my pastor, Solomon Folorunsho, for the passion he has for the less privileged which made him to set up the camp,” she stated.


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