22 August 2017

Nigeria: Catholic Bishops Demand Govt Compensation for Churches Damaged By Boko Haram, Others

The Catholic Bishops of Kaduna Ecclesiastical Province have urged the federal government to compensate churches and other victims of attacks carried out by insurgents on places of worship.

Mathew Ndagoso, their spokesman, made the plea on Tuesday in Minna, in a briefing after a two-day Catholic Bishops of Kaduna Ecclesiastical Province plenary session, held at St. Michael Cathedral, Minna.

"In the past six years, insurgents have attacked churches and other Christian places in the north, but the federal government is yet to compensate the victims.

"We want to inform you that the Catholic Church has not received any support from the federal government for the Churches affected," the bishop said.

"In Niger, the first terrorist attack was on St. Theresa Catholic Church, Madalla, on December 25, 2011.

"Last year, some youths attacked the St. Philips Catholic ‎Church, Bakin Iku, near Suleja, destroying properties valued at several millions of Naira. No one has even sympathised with us," he said.

‎The bishop opined that the federal government was supposed to be responsible for giving assistance to the churches and the victims.

Mr. Ndagoso explained that government ought to be responsible for giving assistance to the victims.

The bishop said that he had personally suffered from such attacks.

"When I was in Maiduguri, my house was destroyed and burnt in my absence. Nothing was taken out of that house. The Church was equally destroyed. Nobody has compensated me or the Church," he said.

Mr. Ndagoso appealed to state governments to issue Certificates of Occupancy (C of O) for lands meant for the building of churches, and urged the federal government to encourage the governors to do so to enable the church to assist development needs of the nation.

‎The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that the plenary session focused on religious, ‎socio-political and economic issues affecting the province.

NAN also reports that the province comprised of Kaduna, Sokoto, Kotangora, Zaria, Minna, Kano and Kafanchan Catholic Dioceses.

(NAN)

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