Nigeria: 'Mubi Taken Back From Boko Haram' Claims Government
The Nigerian government claim to have recaptured Mubi from Boko Haram militants, with the help of local hunters and vigilantes. Reuters reports that Adamawa State Governor Bala Ngilari has said, "The insurgents have been flushed out of Mubi and are on the run."
The militant group had captured Mubi, Adamawa State's second largest town and commercial hub, at the end of October, and renamed it 'Madinatul Islam', which means 'City of Islam'. Prior to the attack on Mubi, the town had served as a safe haven for those fleeing attacks in places such as Gwoza, Madagali and Gulak.
Chibok, the Christian enclave where Boko Haram infamously abducted over 200 schoolgirls, was also captured by Boko Haram on Thursday 13 November, causing thousands to flee. However, the Nigerian military claim they also took back Chibok after 48 hours.
Open Doors researcher for Nigeria, Isaac*, has spoken to witnesses who were in Mubi during the attack; they say that men who refused to convert to Islam were tied up with rope and publicly stoned, while women who refused to convert had their throats slit. Younger Christian women were forcefully converted and married off to insurgents.
Rev Maxwell Kure, the secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) for the Mubi area says before the attack there were more than 200 churches in Mubi. "The insurgents took their time to destroy every single one of them. Some of the valuables in the churches have been taken away before they burned the buildings. Some of the parsonages have become the homes of Boko Haram members. They have destroyed church signboards and burned Bibles in the streets."
'GOD WILL STRUGGLE FOR US'
According to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) at least 1.5 million people have now been displaced in Adamawa, Yobe and Borno states. Many have fled to Yola, about 170km from Mubi. 10,000 people have fled there since Mubi was captured, adding to the 30,000 who were already taking refuge there. Boko Haram have threatened to take Yola as well, making the atmosphere in the camp tense.
When Isaac went to visit believers in Yola he found 16 children who had lost both their parents in the violence. Many narrowly escaped the clutches of Boko Haram, and now face abandonment and fear.
"I saw how my father was shot," shared Zira. "He told me to run and that God will take care of me. I wanted to stay back and die with him but I just found myself running in an unknown direction with other people.
"I thought my mother was among the crowd, but I have not heard anything about her. I have been here two months. All my siblings are nowhere to be found. I am now alone in the camp, just staying with other children. Sometimes we get food but many times we sleep without food or a mat to sleep on. God alone will help me."
Every day in the evening the children meet in a car park inside the camp and sing songs to the Lord before they disperse to find a place to sleep.
"Even though we have no parents, by coming together to sing every day, we receive courage and look to God to help us in our difficult situation," Tabitha told Isaac. "Everyone here is struggling, so no one can help us. If we had our parents here, they would have struggled for us, but we are left alone. We believe God will struggle for us."
During Isaac's visit, about 200 families found the strength to come together for a time of worship. "It was a time of encouragement for them to know that people around the world are praying for their situation. We are thankful that there are pastors among the refugees who are consoling the people and encouraging them to hope in God and cast their fears upon the Lord.
"It is very difficult here. But although it is very painful to witness these circumstances that we cannot change, I was encouraged to see these Christians smiling despite their suffering."
Open Doors has distributed some aid to the believers in Yola, and we are planning to send further relief over the next few weeks.
Source: Reuters; BBC; Open Doors
- Thank God for the courage and strength of those who have remained faithful to Him, even in the face of death
- For provision for those who have fled their homes in the wake of Boko Haram attacks
- That children who have lost their parents will find loving homes.
used by permission: Open Doors UK
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