Lincoln, Neb. — This week, Governor Pete Ricketts welcomed Marcel Pika of Lincoln to the State Capitol. Governor Ricketts and members of Nebraska’s federal delegation had previously advocated for Mr. Pika’s release while he was being held prisoner in the Republic of the Congo.
“It is great to see Mr. Pika back in the Good Life and doing well,” said Governor Ricketts. “Mr. Pika and his family showed incredible strength and fortitude after he was imprisoned in the Republic of the Congo without formal charges. Through his battles with health issues and his family’s resilient efforts to free Marcel, the entire Pika family showed tremendous Nebraska grit throughout that uncertain time. Thank you to all those at the local, state, and federal level who helped Mr. Pika regain his freedom.”
Marcel Pika is a retired colonel who previously served in the Republic of the Congo’s military and fled the country in the late 1990’s. In 1999, he and his family came to Lincoln as refugees before returning to the Republic of the Congo in 2007 with his wife. Shortly after the country’s 2016 elections, Mr. Pika was arrested in his home with no official charges against him.