AFRICA/NIGERIA – At least 2,500 Catholics killed in violence by Boko Haram, Bishop of Maiduguri reports
Abuja (Agenzia Fides)- Some 2,500 Catholics of the Nigerian diocese of Maiduguri have been violently killed in Boko Haram violence, local Catholic Bishop Mgr Oliver Dashe Doeme told THISDAY a local newspaper. The Bishop has taken refuge with thousands of his faithful, in the parish of Saint Teresa in Yola in Adamawa state.
The diocese of Maiduguri (capital city of Borno state) is in north eastern Nigeria which comprises the states of Borno, Yobe and parts of Adamawa state. In these three States, where Boko Haram concentrates its activity, the Nigerian president Mr Goodluck Jonathan in 2013 decreed a state of emergency, although this did not prevent the Islamist guerrillas from continuing their activity, including the recent conquest of places where a “Caliphate” has been proclaimed .
Bishop Doeme says the majority of the displaced faithful now sheltering in Yola parish, narrowly escaped death at the hands of the members of Boko Haram. In the haste to escape numerous families were separated and many parents are still searching for their children. The Bishop also denounced that very often the Nigerian military withdraw without fighting and this, says Bishop Doeme, is due first of all to corruption.
The dramatic situation of the displaced persons is the main topic of a statement issued by Caritas Nigeria and the Bishops Conference Commission for Justice and Peace with the title “Adapting our lives to the present warfare ” which affirms: “the simple truth is that Nigeria is at war”. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 15/9/2014)