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 insurgents, 185 churches in the diocese have been razed and 190, 545 people displaced, with surviving residents unable to return to their houses and places of worship.
This disclosure was made yesterday in a statement entitled “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 lay faithful who are taking refuge in either Yola or Maiduguri metropolis in the last few weeks.
He described the capturing of towns along with the torching of about 185 places of worship as “sad, heart aching and potentially dangerous to the territorial integrity and common good of Nigeria.”
According to the church, “It is over 30 days now that our church communities in Gulak, Shuwa, Michika, Bazza, etc, 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 60th 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)”.