Posted by News Express | 29 August 2014 | 4,919 times
The Catholic Church has complained that Boko Haram insurgents have taken over the parish rectory of its church and other houses of Christians following last week’s attack on Madagali in Adamawa State, North-East Nigeria.
The church, in an electronic press statement by the Director, Catholic Social Communications in-charge of the Maiduguri Diocese, Rev. Fr. Gideon Obasogie, said though the members of the outlawed sect have not been known to draw a line of demarcation of whom to visit or not to visit with mayhem, “in recent times, it seems that Christians and Christian institutions have been at the receiving end of the attacks by the terrorists.”
Obasogie said this in Madagali, which is a local government that borders Borno and Adamawa states, and the closest town to Gwoza with a large number of Catholics, and members of other Christian denominations.
The town also has a good number of Muslims, he said, stressing that “the whole town and the parish rectory have been occupied by the terrorists, so many structures and items have been vandalised. Dozens have been killed and a lot of church structures have been burnt down.”
He lamented that “Christians in the town are really in a terrible situation; a moment of great persecution. Christian men are caught and beheaded, while Christian women are forced to become Muslims and are taken as wives to the terrorists.
“The houses of Christians that have fled are now occupied by the terrorists; their cars are used by the terrorists. Some Muslims around identify Christian homes to be occupied and the Christians hiding were also exposed and they were killed.
“Strict Sharia Laws have been promulgated, as observed by a woman who luckily escaped the dead zone.”
He added: “The situation as it is has really and truly gone out of control. People are finding it really hard, citizens are being killed in their numbers.”
He expressed hope that the federal government would be more proactive in handling the dwindling state of insecurity that has enveloped the entire North-East.
The clergyman said the Catholic Church was compelled to close down all the parishes on the major road linking Maiduguri and Adamawa states because of the acts of terrorism.
Meanwhile, the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) campaign group has claimed that the Boko Haram has up to 50,000 members in its camp some of whom are desperate to die.
The BBOG group which disclosed this in Abuja on Wednesday, claimed it was quoting Mr. Ahmad Salkida, a Nigerian journalist said to be close to Boko Haram.
“According to Mr. Ahmad Salkida, Boko Haram has up to 50,000 people in their camps, most of them are sad and willing to die as suicide bombers. If we’re not mindful our selfishness in not standing up now will consume us all. For these reasons and others, our advocacy must continue; we must continue telling the truth and demanding for it to be told,” the BBOG said.
The group urged good-spirited members of the public to join the advocacy which it said must continue until the abducted girls were returned unharmed.
“We must continue telling the truth and demanding for it to be told,” the group added.
It called on the federal government to double its effort in tackling terrorism before it gets out of hands and plunges the country into unprecedented famine.
The group also raised the alarm that Nigeria stands the risk of facing food scarcity, especially beans, of which Chibok is the highest producer in the country, and called for urgent measures to avert imminent danger.
“Chibok for instance is the highest producer of beans in the nation; the North-East the largest producer of livestock and other produce, but due to the insurgency, there has been no farming; in due course there would be food scarcity across the nation,” the group said.
•Based on reports in THISDAY and Vanguard. Photo shows Boko Haram insurgents.
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