Although we have seen Facebook posts and news releases stating that the Nigerian army has defeated the Boko Haram, violence still continues in northeast Nigeria. Most of the ongoing attacks in the Madagali and Gwoza area are not reported anywhere. One big attack, killing or injuring over 100 people in a Madagali market in December, did make the news.
Markus Gamache, staff liaison for Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), reported that on Jan. 5, insurgents attacked a town near Madagali killing two young men and abducting three girls.
He also wrote, “Many people in Madagali returned home last year to plant crops and reclaim their lands, but it was another moment of fatal attacks on them. Some ended up losing their lives and their little farming that they started. Unfortunately, many of the farms in Madagali that were planted last year were harvested by Boko Haram. People that are currently fleeing their villages are doing so because of fear and attacks. They have been there for more than a year but they have never slept once in their houses and though they planted crops they are not able to enjoy the fruit of their labor.”
Gamache continues to receive daily requests from families wishing to relocate to the Gurku interfaith camp for displaced people, which is already filled to capacity.
Despite their suffering, EYN president Joel Billi encouraged church members not to lose hope. He said that the church has lost people and buildings, but God is always by our side and will never let us down.
Please continue to support Nigeria through your prayers and donations.
-- Roxane Hill, coordinator of the Nigeria Crisis Response for the Church of the Brethren, and Markus Gamache, staff liaison for EYN, contributed to this report. Find out more about the Nigeria Crisis Response, a joint effort of EYN and the Church of the Brethren, at www.brethren.org/nigeriacrisis .