Most Rev. Oliver Doeme, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Maiduguri, has revealed that no fewer than 500 Catholics were killed by Boko Haram members in Borno State while 25 reverend fathers and 40 reverend sisters were also rendered homeless.
Speaking in Maiduguri on Wednesday, the cleric lamented that 250 Catholic churches were set ablaze by the Boko Haram militants in 2014 alone in the North-East.
Doeme, who described the birth of Boko Haram as an “offshoot of corruption” in the country, noted that 80,000 Catholics were displaced by the sect members, while 64,000 fled into Cameroon.
Doeme added that over 50 Catholic catechists were displaced in Adamawa, Yobe and Borno states at the peak of the Boko Haram insurgency.
While lauding the current government for its successes in the ongoing war against terrorism, the cleric also hailed the military in its war against the insurgents.
“The battle against Boko Haram should not be limited to the physical realm but it needs to be fought in the spiritual realm for it is a demonic attack,” he stated.
He called on Christian bodies to be engaged in the rebuilding plan of the North-East.
The cleric added, “If the churches have been part of assisting the victims of the insurgency, they should equally be involved in the rebuilding plan.”