185 churches razed in Borno, Adamawa captured towns

The Director of Catholic Social Communication of Maiduguri
Diocese, Rev. Gideon Obasogie has said that two months
after the capture of 11 towns in Borno and Adamawa states
by Boko Haram, residents could not return to their houses
and places of worship, as 185 churches in the diocese were
torched and 190, 545 people displaced.
Obasogie disclose this, Monday, in a signed press statement
tagged “state of captured towns;” and made available to
newsmen in Maiduguri, the state capital.
According to the statement, the “ransacking and torching” of
churches in the captured towns and villages, have already
displaced many priests, and are taking refuge in either Yola
or Maiduguri metropolisis for the last one or two months.
He said the capturing of towns along with the torching of
about 185 places of worship is, “sad, heart arching and
potentially dangerous to the territorial integrity and
common good of Nigeria.”
The statement also reads in part: “It is over 30 days now that
our Church communities in Gulak, Shuwa, Michika, Bazza……
were sacked by the callous attacks of the Boko Haram
terrorists. While Gwoza and Magadali had been under the
tyrannical and despotic control of the terrorists and this is
almost the sixtieth day.
“Our Priests are displaced, while citizens, who were
supposed to celebrate their independence as a free Nation,
were rather counting their losses and regrets as they had
been reduced to the status of Internally Displaced Persons,
IDPs. 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.”
On displaced priests and residents, Obasogie said: “Meals
time is always difficult and shameful. We have counted
weeks rolling into months, must we also count years? We are
waiting to go back home!
Nigerians are waiting to go back to their ancestral homes!!! .
Our minds are greatly troubled, do we think about our
status, Or about our family members yet to be connected
with ever since we fled our homes?”
The statement also queried: “Do we worry about our aged
parents who were not so strong to run, they always fed us
with words of encouragement and wisdom.
Do we worry about our sick members, women and infants
who had been trapped? Most of whom we heard had been
rape and killed. Or worry about the health, education and
future of our children? We have got a lot of questions yet to
be answered.”
On re-opening of closed schools, Obasogie said: “Talking
about resumption, our children have not been fed and well
clothed so resumption to schools is practically out of our
calculation. In our opinion if thousand of Nigerian children
can’t go to school then in the long run “boko is really
haram.” Then their future is at stake,
quite bleak.
The health condition of our people is truly troubling in
their displaced camps in Maiduguri, Mubi, Yola, Uba,
Gombe, Biu and Damaturu.
“While our people perish inaction, or rather slow action is
what we get. Political activities in neighboring communities
were on-going as though nothing were a stake.
The seemingly not so much talked about syndicate would
someday be a yoke on all. Lately, three councils of Bama, in
Borno state; Madagali and Michika in Adamawa state and
their Local Govt. Chairmen were all sacked.
“The Shehus and Emirs (on -throne)- were overturned, this
amounts to what I would rather refer to as (cultural coup),
since unknown figures have been placed in such capacities.
Thousand 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.
As a church we are really going through a severe moment of
persecution. The ecclesial circumscription is facing sharp
disintegration.

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