Compassionate man provokes Nigerian terror group to put bounty on his head

ABUJA, Nigeria -- Help is pouring into Nigeria today as the search continues for hundreds of schoolgirls kidnapped weeks ago by Islamic extremists known as Boko Haram.

A U.S. team was joined today by British security experts.

Nigerians are still living in fear of the kidnappers.

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Michael Yohanna
CBS
But Michael Yohanna, who is just outside the capital Abuja, is helping find new homes for those who fled the violent Islamic fighters of Boko Haram.

Hundreds have made it there, and more keep coming.

They eke out a meager living. Sleeping where they can under mosquito nets with nothing but the few possessions they managed to bring with them.

Because they are Christians, Yohanna told CBS his family was so fearful of Boko Haram they hid in trees at night, rather than sleep in their beds.

"We used to survey the trees where we are going to climb and sleep because the terror was so much. These people are armed coming on to defenseless people," said Yohanna.

But it was still not enough.

Yohanna said 5 of his brothers were killed. One was a local pastor who would not convert to Islam. "They said 'okay we have told you you've refused, so there is nothing you can do.' So they shot him in front of his own child and his wife and the mother," said Yohanna.

Yohanna fled for his life.

"When the pain goes to a certain stage you cannot feel anything anymore," he said.

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CBS
Now Yohanna counsels other victims of Boko Haram's violence as they try to start a new life. His compassion has provoked the Islamic radicals further - they've put a $30,000 dollar bounty on his head to have him killed.

Amnesty International says the Nigerian government had advance warning of an attack on the school in Chibok, where the more than 200 teenage girls kidnapped.

Through its people on the ground, Amnesty International say its confirmed that local officials warned the Nigerian military about Boko Haram's impending raid four hours before it happened, but did nothing.

This is likely to fuel local sentiment that the national government doesn't care about the north and has virtually given up and handed it over to Boko Haram militants.

  • Debora Patta

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