Rev. Polycarp Zongo remains a captive of Islamic terrorists along with two Christian women. The pastor was abducted last Oct. 30 and proof that he is still missing was backed when a proof-of-life video was released and ended up circulating online.
The Khalifah Army released the video although it remains unclear if they hold any ties with ISWAP or Boko Haram. In the Hausa language, Zongo could be seen asking help from the Nigerian government, his church (Church of Christ in Nations) and the Christian Association of Nigeria to do everything they can to help facilitate his release.
"On Monday, 19 October 2020, I was traveling to Gombe for a church conference when we encountered the caliphate's armed men who captured me along the way, and right now I'm with them," pastor Zongo said. "They too captured two Christian women who are also here with me. I'm appealing that you all do all that is possible to secure our release from captivity."
Nigerian Christian leader Gideon Para Mallam added that the video included extensive detail. However, he also noted that the militants have yet to reveal their terms and ask for ransom. Unless they do, he fears that the terrorist group may have plans. This includes kidnapping more Christians in northern Nigeria leading up to Christmas.
“The church needs to be wise and not walk into a booby trap set by them,” Mallam stated. “We can celebrate Christmas anywhere. Let’s avoid becoming easy prey.”
Videos have come out in recent weeks claiming that Zongo had been released. The clip, which comes from an unidentified source on WhatsApp was fake. Upon learning of the fake video, Mallam called on everyone to pray for the captives, Open Doors USA reported.
“Unfortunately, we fell for it. We believed that maybe there was some truth in this. But there was not. You can imagine the harrowing pain his wife and children and friends are going through right now,” Mallam said. “I appeal to everybody, Christians in Nigeria and the international community, that we will double our prayer for the release of Zongo. Pray that God will do a miracle.
The last four weeks have seen terrorist groups target and capture at least 13 Christians which includes Pastor Zongo. Aside from the pastor, four Christian women who were on their way to Maiduguri, the capital of Borno, were also abducted, the International Christian Concern reported.
The unrest in the region continues. Weeks after the abduction of Zongo, Boko Haram killed 12 people and abducted three more women and their four children during an attack at the northeastern Borno state.
The abductors rode pickup trucks to Takulashi village and started shooting, looting food supplies and torching homes according to a community leader told AFP via Rappler.
Takulashi is located 11 miles from Chibok where Boko Haram abducted 276 schoolgirls in 2014.
"They burnt more than 100 homes in the village. Only five houses were spared the inferno," said a resident who only gave his name as David.