BY NDAHI MARAMA
MAIDUGURI — The Catholic Diocese of Maiduguri has said that it has so far lost more than 500 members and property worth over N400 million due to the activities of Boko Haram terrorists in the North-East.
The Diocesan Secretary,Very Rev. Father John Bakeni Bogna, made this known at a news conference in Maiduguri, yesterday.
He said: “We have records right from 2006 and we have met with the government and we are still discussing the issue of compensation in collaboration with other Christian brethren.”
Also giving details of the loss from 2009 to date, the Diocesan Director, Rev. Fr. Gideon Obasogie, said more than 500, including 170 children of their members were killed, while over 50 churches were burnt and 90,000 people displaced, with about 300 women made to become widows.
According to the church, 1,500 orphans had also been recorded within the period while 34 parishes were completely destroyed in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States.
On education and health sectors, the Project Manager of the diocese, Rev. Fr. Bature Joseph, said: ”33 schools, including 23 primary and 10 secondary were destroyed with three completely burnt down.”
He said nine schools were also closed down in Madagali, Michika, Shuwa and Mubi, stressing that the massive exodus of teachers was affecting the stability of education in the diocese.
Joseph further said health facilities owned by the church in Pulka, Bazza, Shuwa, Potiskum and Mubi were vandalised.
He urged everybody to pray for the sustenance of unity schools because their existence was one of the things binding the country together.
On the abducted Chibok girls, the Rev. Father said the church had never been silent as it was constantly praying for their release to re-unite with their families.