US report indicts FG over neglect of churches, Christian victims of Boko Haram
* Says over 1000 churhes destroyed in Gombe
A United States group has released its report on human rights situation and the response of the Federal Government to victims of Boko Haram in the North, indicting the federal government for alleged neglect of churches and Christian victims of Boko Haram.
Below is a full text of the report made available to Wawa News Global :
“This week, we made presentations on our fact-finding mission to Nigeria to key policy makers in Washington. We are releasing part 2 of our report today.
PART A – CHURCHES DESTROYED BY TERRORISTS REMAIN ABANDONED AND DERELICT
Our recent investigation in northeast Nigeria discovered dozens of churches destroyed by terrorists languishing in decay and disrepair years after despite government’s alleged expenditure of billions in reconstruction and even the establishment of an agency for Northeast Development.
Among the churches we discovered abandoned and neglected in Yobe State are at least three from one denomination alone:
1. ECWA church Shagari, Potiskum
2. ECWA church No 1 Potiskum
3. ECWA church No 2 Potiskum
First Baptist Church Potiskum was among the wrecks of churches strewn across the city of Potiskum, Yobe State.
Many of these churches were destroyed during Boko Haram’s rampages and mass slaughter of Christians during November to December 2011 and 2012.
At a point in the capital city of Damaturu, our investigation at the time confirmed that over 1000 churches had been shut down and members displaced during the height of the anti-Christian genocide in that state as Boko Haram killed Christians from house to house.
Mjr Gen. Buhari had announced a few years back that foreign governments had provided resources for rebuilding destroyed properties and he identified projects for this. However these churches remain in ruins till date.
The situation was not much different in Borno state where we were told that only token churches were rebuilt while many still remain neglected despite huge outpouring of funds.
We were similarly informed at the continuing non-completion of the Chibok Girls’ school five and a half years after the world’s longest running mass abductions. The Federal Government received over $25 million in support from international donors for Safe Schools after the Chibok incident but the Dapchi Schoolgirl abductions still occurred last year and observers are unsure how effectively these funds were used.
A Foundation established for victims said they were rebuilding Local Government offices which are however appropriated for and funded by national resources. Yet, churches which are not built by government budget but by sacrificial citizens, many now displaced, are still languishing.
Ironically, a northwestern state has just opened a project to build 95 mosques which is not an uncommon occurrence in northern Nigeria.
It is believed that hundreds and possibly even thousands of churches are in these neglected conditions in northern Nigeria.
Part B – VICTIMS OF TERROR LANGUISH
Apart from infrastructure losses, human losses too go without attention.
Survivors of gunshots to the head or slit throats whom we have monitored for several years continue needing surgery but with no assistance from the government.
Many other Christians who were in hospital or displaced were victimized by the Yobe State Government which conducted a staff census in their absence.
Indeed one victim who is a sole survivor from a massacre in Yobe State, was even fired from his job even though he resigned, after he testified in the US Congress about his experience years ago. The Yobe State Government stopped his emoluments to date.
He was later to lose his sister and a niece and nephew in the suicide bombing of a living faith church in Bauchi.
Mr Habila Adamu has recently petitioned about the injustice meted out to him by Yobe State despite his misfortunes:
The Executive Secretary
National Human Right Commission
19, Aguiyi Ironsi st, Wuse
Abuja, Abuja Nigeria.
WRITTEN COMPLAINT AGAINST THE MANAGEMENT OF YOBE STATE BROADCASTING CORPORATION (Y.B.C) DAMATURU YOBE STATE
I humbly write and refer you to the above subject matter which is of paramount importance and urgent. I submit as follows;
1. My name is Habila Adamu, 44 years old male
2. I was employed 1st October, 2000 by the Yobe State government and posted to Yobe state broadcasting corporation (YBC) as Administrative Office on grade level 07 steps 02.
3. I worked in the services of the corporation for a period of fourteen Years (14) ten (10) month, during which I served diligently through hard work, accountability and dedication.
4. Tragedy however struks on the 28th November, 2012 when I was attacked by Boko HaramMilitias at my home. I was shot at point blank by the insurgent (see picture evidence as attached)
5. As a result of the serious injury I sustained which was between life and death I was taken to Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) for treatment.
6. After two weeks of undergoing treatment at Josuniversity teaching Hospital (JUTH) I was transferred to Aminu Kano Teaching HopitalKano for further treatment.
7. I underwent special surgery at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital Kano on 2nd January2013.
8. Having undergone all treatment successfully, and with God Almighty keeping me alive I started Trauma treatment in Jos.
9. The Trauma Treatment went successfully and after a long soul searching and wide consultation with my entire family I decided to put in my resignation voluntarily. And I did but writing my organisation on 3rd June, 2015.
10. My letter of resignation was received by the Radio Corporation Damaturu, Yobe State.
11. The Director (commercial) Mr Musa Kaku(08035222624) called and told me that my service was still needed by I rejected and stood my ground on the voluntary resignation.
12. The payment of my monthly salary stopped at August 2015.
13. Having waited for a period of two years eight months, I summoned courage and travelled to Yobe State to confirm the situation of the file since I did not hear from the management of the corporation regarding my voluntary resignation.
14. All effort made to know my true position proved abortive as the management told me bluntly that my file was missing
15. I take it upon myself to meet the New General Manager (Mr Salisu Musa ) at that time who urged me to go back to Jos, because he needed time to search for my file with the need to study it.
16. After about a month, I called the General Manager to enquire about my file and He informed me that my file had been found and I should find time to see the Director Human Resource (Mr Abba Anas )
17. I eventually put a call to the Director (HRM) and introduced myself. Without giving me a single word of chance to talk further he declared my status with the corporation through the phone as absent without leave (AWOL)
18. After my ordeal with the Director (HRM) I went back to the General Manager and narrated what transpired between me and the Director (HR). He advised that I should go back to Jos as he would call a management meeting to discuss the issue.
19. I went back to Jos as agreed and waited for sometimes expecting to hear from the corporation. No call, and I decided to call and surprisingly I was told that during my visit in the United State of America (USA) I granted an interview with the Voice of America Radio and television (Hausa and English) in which I casted aspersion on the good name and people of Yobe State as such I painted a bad picture of the state before the international community which in all honesty was not true and.
20. Though I granted such interview and the content of that interview was circulated worldwide for everyone to see. The content of that interview was all about peace. (view the interview through WWW.Youtube.com)
21. Having said all above Sir, I therefore pray for the following relieves and such I believe would be granted through your good office. My prayer are as follows;
(a) Letter of discharge indicating the acceptance of my voluntary retirement.
(b) Payment of my entitlements for the period I served the organisation (Yobe Broadcasting Corporations).
Sir, as I anxiously awaits your quick response, it’s my fervent believe that my sincere request and prayers would be granted.
Thank you for your usual cooperation.
The continuing neglect of victims is a stain on the soul of the Nigerian nation and people. All are encouraged to open their hearts in this season to those suffering around us.
L-R International Human Rights Lawyer Emmanuel Ogebe after a presentation at the US Senate December 17, 2019
US NIGERIA LAW GROUP