Musdapha Ilo, Maiduguri
The Catholic Church has raised an alarm that Christians are being made to flee communities in states in the North east as Boko Haram insurgents take over several villages and towns.
The Director of Social Communication, Catholic Diocese of Maiduguri, Gideon Obasogie, claimed on Monday that 154 churches in the three North east states under emergency rule – Adamawa, Borno and Yobe – been deserted due to the on – going Boko Haram insurgency in the area.
Obasogie in an press statement titled: “…While Our People Perish…” said not much is being done by government about the death and migration of residents and that political activities in neighbouring communities were on-going as though nothing had happened.
He said for over 30 days, church communities in Gulak, Shuwa, Michika, Bazza have been sacked by the callous attacks of the Bolo Haram terrorists, while Gwoza and Magadali had been under the tyrannical and despotic control of the terrorists, for almost 60 days.
“As a church we are really going through a severe moment of persecution. The ecclesial circumscription is facing sharp disintegration,” and “in the last few weeks our churches numbering 154 have been deserted,” he said.
“Our Priests are displaced. This act of territorial capturing in our estimation is sad, heart arching and potentially deadly and dangerous to the territorial integrity and the common good of Nigeria,” he lamented
Obasogie said thousands have so far been displaced, many killed, and others forcibly conscripted.
“These are pointers that Boko Haram terrorism is not just a northern problem, but a Nigerian problem and in fact a global issue,” he said.
“Where is the freedom? Life is really terribly difficult. We are waiting eagerly to go back home, even as it is obvious that we are going to reconstruct our looted and burnt houses and ecclesial structures. We have been sacked for months, sleeping in uncompleted buildings, camps and school premises. We have been absorbed into houses of relations and friends in sixties and seventies,” he lamented.