WITH THE FALL OF MUBI…By ACN International Adapted by Amanda Bridget Griffin, ACN Canada
Boko Haram emerged as a terrorist group in 2009. In the last few months we have seen the aggressive devastation of the Boko Haram activities. Many of our people are forced out of their ancestral homes. Right now, thousands are living in mountain caves; the few who were able to escape have been taken in by friends and relatives in Maiduguri and Yola. Thousands have managed to escape to Cameroon and are living in very difficult conditions lacking food, shelter and medication.
Parents stood by watching their children grow weak and die. A good number of our youth are forcefully conscripted, while the elderly, women and children are converted to Islam. A lot of Nigerians are trapped and are forced to practice strict Sharia law in communities like: Bama, Gwoza, Madagali, Gulak, Shuwa, Michika Uba up on till Mubi. These are the towns on the Federal road linking Maiduguri and Yola in Adamawa state.
All of these captured towns by our estimation are no longer part of the Nigerian entity because no one can go in, but those who would luckily escape have got stories to tell. The terrorists have declared all the captured towns as Islamic Caliphate. The people trapped are forced to accept and practice the strict doctrines the militants are out to propagate.
Mubi is predominantly a Christian community and the second largest commercial nerve in Adamawa state after Yola. It forms a district in the Diocese of Maiduguri and has two strong parish centers: St. Andrew’s Catholic Church and Holy Trinity. It also has two great Chaplaincies: Federal Polytechnic and Adamawa State University.
Wednesday October 29th was a sad day in the whole diocese. The Boko Haram insurgents over ran the town making over 50,000 inhabitants flee. A good number fled to Cameroon and were trapped for days: Including five priests and two sisters. With the fall of Mubi; of the six districts, three have been captured and occupied by the terrorists. What a life!! We are keeping to the Church’s teachings on the witness of presence.
We have over 100,000 Catholics displaced and some who were trapped are still finding their way out to safe towns. For now the diocese is saddled with the responsibility of caring for the Internally Displaced persons. This she does across board not minding religious confessions, because we look at our common humanity. We have more than seven camps in Maiduguri and other displaced brethren are with their relations and friends.
With the fall of Mubi the Estimated Figure of Destruction reads:
- of Persons killed: Over 2,500 Catholic Faithful have been killed.
- Displaced persons: Over 100,000 Catholic faithful are displaced. Most schools in the Northeast cannot reconvene regular activities not only because of the terrorists, but also because such school premises now serve as refugee camps.
- Displaced Priests: Out of the (46) priests currently working in the diocese (26) are displaced. Many of such Priests are accommodated by Bishop Dami Mamza of Yola Diocese.
- Displaced Catechists: Over (200) Catechists are displaced.
- Displaced Rev. Sisters: Over (20) Rev. Sisters are displaced.
- Abducted women and girls: Over (200).
- Forceful conversion to Islam: A good number of our faithful have been converted to Islam against their will.
- Deserted convents: Out of the (5) convents, (4) have been deserted.
- Churches destroyed: Over (50) churches and rectories have been razed down, a good number were destroyed more than once.
- Deserted Churches/Chaplaincies: Out of the (40) parish centers / chaplaincies (22) are presently deserted and occupied by the terrorists.
- Affected Schools: The diocese has over (40) primary and secondary schools, over (30) have been deserted.
- Compensation: The diocese has not seen any compensation for the destructions of lives and properties from 2006 and 2009 to date.
Borno State has been captured and occupied by Boko Haram, Gomboru Ngalla and Bama, Gwoza, Maffa and Abadam. Askira Uba, Dikwa, and Marte. Other towns include: Pulka, Banki etc. Maiduguri is completely surrounded by the terrorists. The one exit out of Maiduguri city is only the Maiduguri-Damaturu road. The same is true for areas of Adamawa State and Yobe State. These towns are under strict control by the terrorists and no well meaning Nigerian can trespass.