(Voice of the persecuted) Maiduguri, the capital of the Nigerian State of Borno, was hit by new attacks committed by Boko Haram on Sunday, September 20th. According to varying reports, between 54 to over 100 people were killed. Despite this, the inhabitants of the city who decided to escape the violence, are now returning.
Fr. Gideon Obasogie, the Social Communications Director of the Catholic Diocese of Maiduguri in Nigeria, asked Voice of the Persecuted to share this message:
In an earlier interview with Vatican Radios English Service for Africa, Fr. Obasogie said “Most of our people are coming back to their communities”. Many towns, homes, schools, hospitals, bridges have been razed down by the bombs of Boko Haram. Generally life and movement in this part of Nigeria has been very difficult.
“A lot of our people are back, but they look sick, hungry and traumatised. “These communities need support. The Bishop of Maiduguri, Oliver Dashe Doeme, has taken the unusual step of sending priests to these same communities where security is far from certain. He wants the priests to accompany the people as they try to rebuild their lives”.
The ordination of three new priests in one of the communities that was bombed and ransacked by Boko Haram was a sign of hope. Despite fears of new attacks, the faithful who even come from distant places of the diocese went to the ordination Mass.
Fr. Obasogie says that against all odds, “The faith of the Church in this part of the country is truly growing. We appreciate all people of good will who have demonstrated their love and care towards the suffering Church of Maiduguri Diocese. Our people have come to experience greater faith than ever before. They hold on to their faith in their plight and difficulties. God is all we have now,” he emphasised.
He also relayed, “the Buhari administration is doing its best to end the insurgency. The military is advancing and recapturing those communities that were under the terrorists’ control. Despite this, a lot of people are still afraid of the presence of suicide bombers around the city and villages”.
Due to conflict, particularly in the north east by the Boko Haram insurgency, the humanitarian situation has become dire. The needed counter-insurgency has added to and may further increase the numbers of displaced people. Many husbands, wives and children have been separated unable to locate and unaware of their loved ones condition. Humanitarian needs are great. The displaced in the camp that Voice of the Persecuted is aiding has doubled in the last few months. There are many staying here who are unable to return to their completely razed villages, or areas still at risk of attacks.
Recently, deaths have been reported from a cholera outbreak at three nearby camps in the area. We thank God to report none at our camp were affected by the outbreak! To lessen the chance of disease, sanitation safeguards had been put in place and much effort made to keep the camp clean. We invite you to rejoice with us for the gift of life, new babies born at the camp! Raise these little ones up to the Lord, along with their families, the road ahead may be long and hard.
Together with your generous support, we can reach the goal to alleviate horrific suffering. In darkness and desperation, let us serve in love, with open arms and giving hands to provide light and hope.
Everyday, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and further His Kingdom! As you greatly bless others, may God continue to bless you. Thank you so much for your support. We couldn’t do it without you!
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