by James Sambo
The Catholic Church has raised the alarm over the activities of Boko Haram terrorists who have taken over the Madagali Parish of the Church in Adamawa State following last week’s seizure of the town.
Madagali, is a town, and local government area in Adamawa State. It borders Michika to the north, Askira uba to the west, Gwoza local government area to the south and the Republic of Cameroon to the east. There are many ethnic groups but Marghi and Fulani are the major ethnic languages. It is the closest town to Gwoza, with a large number of Catholics and members of other Christian denominations as well as a good number of Muslims.
Alleging that the Parish rectory and other houses belonging to Christians in the area have been taken over by the insurgents, the Catholic Church also alleged that Christians in the area are now being targeted for persecution by the insurgents.
A statement issued by the spokesman of the Maiduguri Catholic Diocese, Rev. Fr. Gideon Obasogie, said it now appears that Christians and Christian institutions have been at the receiving end of the Boko Haram attacks.
“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,” Fr. Obasogie said.
He added: “Christians in the town are really in a terribly situation; a moment of great persecution.
“Christian men are caught and beheaded, the 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 Haramiests.
“Their cars are used by the terrorists. Some Muslims around identify Christian homes to be occupied and the Christians hiding were also identified and were killed. Strict Sharia law had been promulgated, as observed by a woman who luckily escaped the dead zone.
“The situation as it is now has really and truly gone out of control. People are finding it really hard, citizens are being killed in their numbers.”
Fr. Obasogie said the Catholic Church had been forced to close down all the churches on the major highways linking Borno and Adamawa States because of incessant Boko Haram attacks.