The Catholic Church has complained that Boko Haram insurgents have taken over the parish rectory of its church and other houses of Christians following last week’s attack on Madagali in Adamawa State, Northeast Nigeria.
The church, in an electronic press statement by the Director, Catholic Social Communications in-charge of the Maiduguri Diocese, Rev. Fr. Gideon Obasogie, said though the members of the outlawed sect have not been known to draw a line of demarcation of whom to visit or not to visit with mayhem, adding that, “in recent times, it seems that Christians and Christian institutions have been at the receiving end of the attacks by the terrorists.”
Obasogie said this in Madagali, which is a local government that borders Borno and Adamawa States, and the closest town to Gwoza with a large number of Catholics, and members of other Christian denominations.
The town also has a good number of Muslims, he said, stressing that “the whole town and the parish rectory have been occupied by the terrorists, so many structures and items have been vandalised. Dozens have been killed and a lot of church structures have been burnt down”.
He lamented that “Christians in the town are really in a terrible situation; a moment of great persecution. Christian men are caught and beheaded, while Christian women are forced to become Muslims and are taken as wives to the terrorists.
“The houses of Christians that have fled are now occupied by the terrorists; their cars are used by the terrorists. Some Muslims around identify Christian homes to be occupied and the Christians hiding were also exposed and they were killed.
“Strict Sharia Laws have been promulgated, as observed by a woman who luckily escaped the dead zone”.
He added: “The situation as it is has really and truly gone out of control. People are finding it really hard, citizens are being killed in their numbers.”
He expressed hope that the federal government would be more proactive in handling the dwindling state of insecurity that has enveloped the entire North-east.
The clergyman said the Catholic Church was compelled to close down all the parishes on the major road linking Maiduguri and Adamawa States because of the acts of terrorism.