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How 300 seminarians escaped slaughter by Boko Haram – Seminary burnt

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Three hundred students and teachers of St. Joseph Catholic Minor Seminary Shuwa in Michika Local Government of Adamawa State, escaped death by the whiskers when bloodthirsty Boko Haram insurgents stormed their school recently.  Two guards in the school were not so lucky.  They were killed by the mindless attackers.  The chapel, the priests’ house, classrooms and dormitory blocks were all razed down, using high explosives.

Face to face with the rampaging Boko Haram who invaded their school in the night in their preparatory classes, the students were compelled to jump the perimeter fence of the school and escaped into the nearby bushes.  It was an excruciating experience.  According to Independent Catholic  News (ICN), the terrorists stormed into Shuwa village with an armored truck, rocket launchers, high caliber guns  and more than a dozen jeeps.

“We were like walking in the shadow of death”, one of the students, Charles Aji told a national newspaper.

“It was just few days after Boko Haram attacked the Federal Government College, Buni Yadi and slaughtered many students there”. According to Charles, “We were in prep classes when we started hearing gunshots.  Then, our Vice-Rector, Fr. Joshua Ijah gathered us in a place and prayed for us and quickly told us we had to flee the school as Boko Haram were coming. Everybody was terrified.  What  if they intercepted us while running or open fire on us in the bush?  Many of us had asked, but there was no time for answer.  The priest just yelled at us saying, ‘Just run for your lives because time is running out.  God will protect you”.

He said time was indeed running out as any delay could be more dangerous and catastrophic.

“We jumped fences because we feared Boko Haram may already be at the gate.  It was very dark outsides there but we kept moving into the bush, though not sure of our safety.  After sometime, we separated ourselves into different groups, some followed the vice-rector and others followed some staff.  We laid in the bush till day break in fear as our school was on fire while the Boko Haram were shooting”, he explained.

The 16-year-old junior seminarian said he would always remember his 10-hour experience in the dark, lonely and frightening bush.

“We were just there hoping God spares our lives to see the break of the day”, he said.

Boko Haram had late February attacked Izge, a community located south of Borno and near Shuwa, the site of St. Joseph Catholic Minor Seminary in the neighbouring Adamawa State.  Two days later, the insurgents appeared at the seminary to unleash more terror.  “They burnt down the school and killed two guards attached to the priest’s house”, a teacher in the school, Mr. Jacob Julius who also survived the attack, disclosed.

Joseph said they were alerted by Shuwa residents about the invasion of Boko Haram insurgents, adding that the information helped the school authority to plan ways of evacuating the students and staff, hence the school would have lost hundreds of its students.  “We heard sporadic gunshots and these shots were very close to the school.  We were also hearing people screaming, shouting and it was then we knew there was problem and we had to plan how to escape before it is too late”, he explained.

He, however, said the fear of Boko Haram tracing them into the bush almost snuffed life out of many of them.  “Each movement we heard, maybe, from insects or animals in the bush, was like Boko Haram were near us.  Many students were panting; it was a harrowing experience, which words cannot capture.  Such experience could cause older persons emotional imbalance or hypertension”, he stated.

Jacob disclosed that the insurgents conscripted a physically-challenged teacher to lead them to all the structures within the premises.  He said they had wanted to kill the teacher after setting the school ablaze but the plea from one of the insurgents saved the cripple.

“One of our teachers, a cripple, could not flee when others were running because of his condition.  So when the people came, they questioned him about the whereabouts of the students and teachers but he lied to them he was a visitor.  They then conscripted him and pushed him in his wheel chair to lead them to all the structures in the premises.  After setting fire on all the buildings, one of them ordered that the teacher be shot but another pleaded he should be left alone having assisted them do their work in the school.  That was how they left him”, he said.

Sunday Sun gathered that the authority of the institution had already shot down the seminary to prevent further attack.  The Catholic Bishop of Maiduguri Diocese, Most Rev. Oliver Dashe Doeme, said Borno, Yobe and the northern part of Adamawa states were under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Maiduguri Diocese.  He said the school would have lost “many bright future of Nigeria” like in the Buni Yadi incident, had the authority not evacuated the students and staff.  He expressed worry over the spate of Boko Haram attacks in the area, stressing that the development called for concern.

They also attacked a nearby clinic run by Augustinian Sisters who ran away just in time.

 

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. martins okpalaku

    June 11, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    2013 i was admited into the school as a student.During the chrismas celebration me and my family travel to the east,when we were there we got information that our house at yobe was on fire,and that we should come back untill everything was all we.We stay back,it wasnt up to two we received a call from a parent whos own child was also goin to the, tellng us that boko haram attacked the seminary.That was God saved me and my family from the hands of the boko haram.But now am schooling at st dominic savio seminary akpu,there i meet some of my school mate there;Johnpaul Agadi,Wisdom.Kelechi…i missed all my class mate at st joseph…i enjoyed being a student that great school…i know i will surely meet all of you again..!!!

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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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