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Saturday, April 13, 2024

26-year-old Nigerian man wins tough battle against terrorists, bags bachelors degree in Petroleum Chemistry

A 26-year-old Nigerian man named Abubakar Umar who was attacked by terrorists on his way defied the odds to graduate from the American University of Yola in Nigeria.

Abubakar was on a seven-hour road trip from school to visit his family in Kano when he ran into a band of fighters from the Boko Haram terrorist group operating in Nigeria according to Yahoo.

He said on his way he was warned to take another route by fellow drivers but he continued the journey. Abubakar stated that as he neared Potiskum, a city frequently targeted by Boko Haram in Yobe State Nigeria, he slowed to avoid potholes on the road.

He heard gunshots by a group of people coming out of the bush shouting and shooting at his vehicle. “And that was when I heard the gunshot. Actually, I slowed down because there was a pothole; the road was very, very bad,” he said.


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“I think I was driving at about 60 or 40 kilometers per hour. And that was when I just saw these people coming out from the bush, and they were screaming ‘Allahu Akbar’ and they were screaming at my car,” he added.

He said he initially stopped because some of them had military trousers and boots but then he noticed their headbands and the words of their mouth, and that was when he realized they were insurgents.

Abubakar said as he accelerated, a bullet hit his right arm and further down the road, a second attack happened and a second bullet hit his left arm. He pulled over only when he reached a town and changed clothes so he would look like a local.


“They shot me in my right arm. I continued (driving). I didn’t know where I was going. I just kept on driving. I thought I would reach a checkpoint and report the case. I never met any checkpoint,” he said.

Abubakar said after abandoning his car, with blood flowing from his wounds and broken bone exposed, he stumbled upon a village and was taken in by locals, at grave risk to their own lives. 

He stated that an old man told him the town was under Boko Haram control and that anyone helping him would be killed. Eventually, a family allowed him to hide in their outhouse overnight.

Abubakar added that the next morning, the homeowner gave him a phone so he could call his friends to pick him up. He spent the night in the village until friends picked him up the next day.

He said he had to disguise himself just in case he stumbled across the terrorists, who had bases in the area. “I put mud and chicken dung on my head to look like a madman. I removed my shoes and put them in my pocket but I didn’t see Boko Haram,” he said. 

Abubakar said he returned to the university two months after he had surgery on his wounds, even when the scars were still visible on his arms. He said he could not use his right hand for 14 weeks and eventually, he was healed.

“I came back and I couldn’t use my right hand for 14 weeks. I couldn’t write, I couldn’t press the keys on the computer. When the cast was removed, I was OK,” he said.

He battled his way out and was able to complete his bachelor’s degree at the American University of Yola. The university awarded Abubakar for his courage at their commencement dinner.

“I think I should have died on that day. I could have died on that day; because I lost so much blood, I passed out. There was not any medication that I could take the next morning. But somehow, I think the Lord kept me alive for a special reason and one of those reasons is for me to be here to complete my degree,” he said.

Abubakar said he is excited to have finally graduated and also to be one of the lucky survivors of the terrorist attack. He mentioned that he will be furthering his education with a master’s degree.



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