Mazeed Mukhtar Oyeleye reports,

Eight days after PEN Press reported the unwarranted torture suffered by Dr Mustapha Umar Imam, the Director of the Centre for Advanced Medical Research and Technology, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto (CAMRET-UDUS) and other unlucky passengers of the AK9 train, the terrorists have released him and four other abductees.

PEN Press gathered, from reliable sources, that the terrorists released Dr Imam over concerns for his safety.

However, PEN Press can not confirm if there were any other motivations behind the release of Dr Imam and the other victims; Abubakar Ahmed Rufai, Akibu Lawal, Mukhtar Shuaibu and Sidi Aminu Sharif.

Having been abducted en route to Kaduna from Abuja on March 28, 2022, Dr Imam and the four men released alongside him tarried in the terrorists’ lair for an agonising stretch of 18 weeks.

Looking back on life in the terrorists’ hideout, Dr Imam disclosed in an interview that “the experience I’ve gone through in the last 4 months is not something I will even wish my enemy to go through. There was barely food to eat, we were hungry for the last 3 and half months. We were quite surprised in the last 2 weeks that they started bringing food stuff. We were okay in the last 2 weeks. But we were very, very hungry for the first 3 and a half months.”

He also spoke about his efforts to provide medical assistance, despite the lack of medication.

“When you talk about medication, I was literally the Medical Doctor on camp. I was treating the captives as well as the bandits, the Boko Haram members.”

“The situation is really, really dire and terrible. My experience is really terrible, you can see I just finished shedding tears, tears of joy that I’m going to be reunited with my family very soon,” he expressed his joy over being free to go about his life again.

Dr Imam called upon the government to come to the aid of the captives as they were in a precarious situation, given the lack of proper living conditions and medications. 

Reacting to the news of the release, Professor Ibrahim Magawata, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration) of Usmanu Danfodiyo University, assured PEN Press that Dr Imam is in good condition.

His words; “The Management is fully aware of his release. He is psychologically stable going by the interview he granted.

The entire University community is celebrating his release. We are, indeed, very grateful to Allah (SWA) for his safe return. Many concerned personalities have contributed through their prayers and other means to facilitate his freedom. All are acknowledged.”

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