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187 Catholic Churches Burnt in Maiduguri … Life Cheaper than Salt in my Diocese – Bishop

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The Federal Government may have wrestled the   Ebola Virus to the ground, but the fight against Boko Haram is not being won by any stretch of the imagination.

In fact, the Catholic Bishop of Maiduguri, Most Rev. Oliver Dashe Doeme has in a situation report and update on the activities of Boko Haram in his diocese for the last one month, cried out in distress, saying that ‘life is now cheaper than salt’ in that part of the country.

At the last count, over 187 Catholic Churches have been razed in Maidugari diocese alone in the last one month.

“People are being killed and slaughtered, politicians are busy organising for primary elections probably to come and rule over monkeys and apes after the people have been killed and wiped out. It is only in Nigeria that politics is more important than human lives and security,” the Bishop said, accusing Government of inaction.

“There is a total disconnection between what our so-called leaders in Abuja report in the media and the reality on ground. We wish they have the courage to fly into the areas and see things for themselves.”

He said people were dying every day with no one to bury them.

“They’re left to rot; their homes and properties looted; they have become slaves and prisoners in their fatherland. Here is a government that cannot safeguard the lives of its citizens and, indeed, life had become so cheap it can be wasted any moment. We used to think that salt is the cheapest commodity in the market, well, life is cheaper now especially in the north east part of Nigeria,” he said.

Giving details of the activities of Boko Haram in the diocese, the Bishop said that a newly constructed diocesan hospital and the St Peters Pulka were among church properties destroyed.

He worried also about the forced conscription of youths into Boko Haram.

“Many young people were forcefully taken and conscripted into the Boko Haram and are currently receiving training in the captured mobile base in Limankara …This is the fate of every single town or village that has fallen into their hands. Killings, destruction, looting, forced marriage, forced recruitment or conscription, forced conversion to Islam and mounting of their flags and declaration of Sharia’ or caliphate mark their activities,” he explained.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall Alex Badeh had recently described Boko Haram as more vicious than the notorious Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the church’s report confirm it.

“The last one month has seen the intensification and aggressive devastation caused by Boko Haram in the northern, central  and southern part of the Catholic diocese of Maiduguri. The brutality and callousness with which people are killed can only be compared to that of the ISIS in Iraq and Syria,” Bishop Doeme confirmed.

“Many of our people are being forced out of their ancestral homes, villages

and towns. Right now, thousands are living in caves on the mountains, some in forest, the few who are able to escape are being absorbed by friends and relatives in Maiduguri, Mubi and Yola. Thousands have managed to escape into the Cameroons and are living under very difficult conditions of lack of food, shelter and medication.”

Bishop Doeme said several parishes had closed, in the last one month, with the people and priests on the run.

“Right now we have close to 20 priests taking refuge in Yola- thank God for our brother Bishop, Stephen Dami Mamza who has been kind to accept them and assign them to parishes within Yola where they can at least eat and sleep,” he said, adding that 25 towns were being controlled conveniently by Boko Haram.

Another detailed report by Father Gideon Obasogie, Director of Social Communications  Maiduguri Diocese lamented the killings and destructions going on in the northeast and put the number of churches burnt or forced to close at 187.

He also accused Government of inaction and alleged that politics had been placed before life and security.

“Our minds are greatly troubled when we think about our status or about our family members yet to be reconnected with, ever since we fled our homes… talking about resumption of schools, our children have not yet been fed well or clothed; so resumption of school is practically out of calculation. In our opinion,  if thousands of Nigerian children can’t go to school then in the long run ‘boko is indeed haram’.”

He continued: “Their future is at stake and quite bleak. The health condition of our people is truly troubling in their displaced camps. While our people perish, political activities are going on in neighbouring communities… As a church, we are really going through a severe moment of persecution. Our ecclesiastical circumscription is facing a sharp disintegration,” he stressed.

 

CATHOLIC WORLD

Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes

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Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump - CAN fumes

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s revelation of his conversation with United States President, Donald Trump, on the massacre of Christians in Nigeria, saying President Buhari was economical with the truth.

President Buhari had on Tuesday, revealed that at the heat of the bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, the United States President, Donald Trump, unequivocally accused him of killing Christians.

Buhari said these in his closing remarks at the two-day ministerial performance review retreat held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

At a point, the President digressed from his prepared speech and narrated his encounter with Trump on the bloody clashes.

He said he managed to explain to the American leader that the clashes were not about ethnicity or religion.

He said, “I believe I was about the only African among the less developed countries the President of United States invited.

“When I was in his office, only myself and himself, only God is my witness, he looked at me in the face, and asked, ‘Why are you killing Christians?’

“I wonder, if you were the person, how you will react. I hope what I was feeling inside did not betray my emotion, so I told him that the problem between the cattle rearers and farmers, I know is older than me not to talk of him. I think I am a couple of years older than him.

“With climate change and population growth and the culture of the cattle rearers, if you have 50 cows and they eat grass, any root, to your water point, then they will follow it. It doesn’t matter whose farm it is.

“The First Republic set of leadership was the most responsible leadership we ever had. I asked the Minister of Agriculture to get a gazette of the early 60s which delineated the cattle route where they used meager resources then to put earth dams, wind mills even sanitary department.

“So, any cattle rearers that allowed his cattle to go to somebody’s farm would be arrested, taken before the court. The farmer would be called to submit his bill and if he couldn’t pay, the cattle would be sold, but subsequent leaders, the VVIPs (very important persons) encroached on the cattle routes. They took over the cattle rearing areas.

“So, I tried and explained to him (Trump) that this has got nothing to do with ethnicity or religion. It is a cultural thing.”

However, CAN’s Vice President and Chairman of the association in Kaduna State, John Hayab, was not impressed with Buhari’s submission, saying “Buhari and his government will never stop from amusing us with their tales by moonlight because what is happening in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Birnin Gwari, Southern Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau and others cannot be described as a cultural thing.

He told Punch correspondent in an interview: “President Buhari’s weak story about his conversation with President Donald Trump further confirms why his government does not care about the killings in our country by calling them cultural things.

“Just this (Tuesday) evening, I received a report from the Kaduna Baptist Conference President about the number of their members that have been killed by bandits in Kaduna State from January 2020 to date to be 105 and our President will call it a cultural thing? All we can say is may God save our Nigeria.”

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NATIONAL NEWS

CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

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CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

The Catholic Bishop of Nsukka, Most Rev. Godfrey Onah, has blamed Christians in the National Assembly (NASS), for the passage of the 2020 Companies and Allied Matters Bill (CAMA), signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.

Bishop Onah, said in a remark during the Sunday Mass that if Christians in NASS had opposed the bill, it would not have been passed into law.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Aug. 7, signed the CAMA bill into law, giving provision for religious bodies and charity organizations to be regulated by the registrar of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and a supervising minister.

“The question many Christians have been asking is, where were Christian legislators during the debate of this bill and its passage in the National Assembly?

“Because, if they had opposed this bill on the floor of the house, it would not have been passed and sent to the president for assent.

“I blame Christian legislators for doing nothing and allowing the passage of the 2020 CAMA Act,” he said.

“When I say that Christians are too divided and too selfish, don’t forget that the second in command in this country is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a professor of Law and a pastor.”

Onah, however, wondered what the Federal Government wanted to achieve in monitoring how the finances of churches in the country are managed when it contributed no dime to the church, NAN reports.

“Government should focus and monitor its ministries, agencies and other government institutions where it budgets billions of Naira annually and not church offerings.

“Had it been that the government gave allocations to churches and decided to monitor its usage, nobody will question the government,” he said.

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NATIONAL NEWS

Nigerians spit fire over fuel, electricity prices hike

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Increasing Fuel and Electricity Prices

Anger and condemnations, across the country, have continued to trail last week’s take off, of new increases in pump price of petroleum products and electricity tariffs, as directed by Federal Government.

Recall that the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) official, D.O. Abalaka announced on Wednesday September 3, on behalf of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that the new price of petroleum is now N151.56k per litre instead of N149 – N150 per litre which it was previously.

The new electricity tariff which the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) tagged “Service Reflective Tariff” has also come into effect. It requires consumers to pay N53.87 – N66.422 per kwh of electricity.

Outraged consumers of fuel and electricity have therefore warned government to get ready for collision with the masses if it fails to rescind these new prices.

Those who have expressed outrage over the new prices regimes include, the Organized Labour, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Nigerian main opposition political party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).

Others are: Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce (NACCIMA).

The NLC said, “The frequent fuel price increase will no longer be accepted. We will not allow Nigerians fall victim of government ineptitude and negligence to make the country self-sufficient in terms of refining petroleum products at home.”

On its part, the PDP has described the price hike as “callous, cruel and punishing” and demanded an immediate reversal to avert a national crisis.

The All Industrial Global sees the incessant increase as a confirmation that deregulation means just price increase.

“This is unacceptable! Under a pandemic, we should put money in the pockets of citizens to revive collapsed livelihoods and preserve lives.” In its reaction, NECA said it has always urged Federal Government to adopt deregulation policy in the oil and gas downstream sector.

The MOMAN in its statement insists that monthly price variation of fuel was no longer sustainable. It urged PPRA to adopt quarterly price mechanism which would save the market the hassles of price volatility. The statements by IPMAN and NACCIMA also followed along the same line that the hike “…serves only to increase the severity and duration of the looming economic recession.”

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