By Ndahi Marama,, Maiduguri
The Catholic Priest, Rev. Fr. Elijah Juma Wada who was kidnapped by Boko Haram last month has regained his freedom
Recalled that, a family source and a friend to the Priest, Mallam Yamta had earlier told our Correspondent that Reverand Wada left Shani Local Government Area on Monday 28th June, and spent the night in Biu Local Government Area before he proceeded on his journey the following day (Tuesday 29th June 2021) along Biu- Damaturu 130km drive.
Yamta who narrated the incident said, the Priest who lives in Shani following a windstorm that destroyed his official residence in Buma village, where the parish is located, and prior to his abduction, Wada do shuttles from Shani Council Headquarter to Buma in conducting church activities.
Yamta had also debunked the report that Reverend Wada was travelling to Damaturu to attend the 10th Anniversary Thanksgiving Mass of his friend Rev. Fr Yakubu Inda Philibus of the St. Mary’s Catholic Diocese, Damaturu, but was billed to Maiduguri St. Patrick Catholic Diocese to relieve a Reverend Father (names withheld) who has relocated out to one of the foreign countries.
A family Source said, ” the Reverend Father before his abduction was driving in his Corolla Car, unfortunately, his empty car which was riddled with bullets was later found along the roadside near Buratai town, some few kilometres away from Biu.
However, reliable sources have informed Vanguard that the priest gained his freedom on the evening of Thursday 8th July 2021 last week.
“The news of the freedom of our brother is true. We thank God for his life. We are grateful to God for the cheering news,” an official in the diocese who is not authorized to talk to the press informed.
No official statement has been issued by the Catholic Diocese of Maiduguri but parishioners are already celebrating the release of the kidnapped priest on social media including group WhatsApp platforms.
“Haven’t you heard that the priest you reported that he was kidnapped has now regained his freedom from the hands of his abductors?”. He was freed last Thursday,” one of the parishioners informed.
It is not clear how the priest got his freedom but there are different narratives surrounding the story of his release.
While others alleged the Diocese paid the ransom for his release, there is another narrative, that the Reverend Father along with other captives escaped from the hands of their abductors.
An official of the church said that “the Bishop will soon communicate with the press on the matter at an appropriate time”