When I stepped foot outside the Kaduna maximum security prison on 29 October 2019, I thought I was really free. But I was wrong; what was to come would be more terrible than the prison walls and the jailer's chains. I had been in prison for 162 days under very dehumanising conditions for my advocacy against the senseless killings of Christians in my native Southern Kaduna, and northern Nigeria as a whole.
In April 2020, barely six months after my release from jail by the government, I went on the run again because so-called security agents were coming after me for simply tweeting a news link published by Zenger news, a United States-based digital newspaper. Zenger news had reported that a mobile phone recovered from the scene of a terrorist attack on the Christian community of Chawai in Kauru local government area of Kaduna State contained phone numbers of some serving military personnel.
The report further alleged links between the terrorists and the Nigerian military. I didn't write the report, I only tweeted the story. Shortly after my tweet went viral with over 4,000 retweets, I started getting strange phone calls from people threatening me. I had to leave my home and travel to another town for my safety.
Attacked in my sleep
After some months the threats subsided, or so I thought. I continued my advocacy until I had another shock in July 2021 - a letter purportedly written by Fulani terrorists and addressed to a friend of mine, Pastor Gideon Mutum, a Kafanchan-based clergyman and human rights activist. The terrorists had told Pastor Mutum to inform me that they would hunt me down. Pastor Mutum had to flee Kafanchan and I also relocated to another town.
In April 2022, I was attacked in my sleep by unknown persons who sprayed poisonous chemicals - believed by doctors to be chlorine gas - into my bedroom through the open window. I spent weeks in hospital due to the effect of the gas I inhaled. I am still suffering respiratory problems as a result.
After the gas incident, I relocated from my house to a different town in June. Shortly after my relocation, former neighbours began to inform me about unknown individuals who had come to ask after me. A few days before I left Nigeria, my former pastor sent me a WhatsApp message informing me that some people who claimed to be Department of State Security officials had come to look for me.