Displaced Boko Haram victims survive on grass- Catholic church

2014-10-27
THE PUNCH Newspaper


The Catholic Church has lamented that some of the over 90,000 of its members displaced in the troubled North-East had to feed on grass and insects to survive in their hideouts.

Some, the church added, buried their children killed by hunger and starvation in the bush.

The church, in a press statement by the Director of Information, The Catholic Diocese of Maiduguri, Rev. Fr. Gideon Obasogie, on Sunday, said, “A good number of those trapped around the Cameroonian borders are gradually finding their way into Maiduguri. Counting their ordeals, some will tell you how they fed on grass and insects. A group from Pulka community alone buried over 80 children, who took ill in the bush and died.”

He also decried that over 14 parishes have been sacked in the area, with about 20 priests displaced and some members still searching for their loved ones in both Maiduguri and Yola dioceses.

He said, “As a church, we are really going through a severe moment of persecution. Our ecclesiastical circumscription has faced a sharp disintegration. For now, situation is still as before. No improvements whatsoever since our people are still displaced and have no much hope of getting home.”

He noted that the church has spent over N3m on all internally displaced persons at different locations in Maiduguri, explaining that this church took to this because it “must bear witness to the Gospel both in word and deed.”

Obasogie said the visit to the IDPs was “a practical show of that authentic witnessing. They had over 200 sacks of maize, rice, cooking oil, blankets, mosquito nets, rubber buckets, mats, cartons of Maggi, beans, sugar, among others.”

The church encouraged the people to accept all that is happening to them in humility and to see the hand of God at work, even as they are alive. It called on them “not to lose faith, but to use this moment of trial and persecution as a golden opportunity to express abundantly the faith they profess.”

 

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